Mertes pushes tuition promise

By Vickie Snow

With accusations of misusing university funds aimed at NIU’s sister schools, university governing officials need to reconsider raising tuition, according to NIU’s student regent.

At the September Board of Regents meeting, a resolution was passed endorsing increased tuition rates based on insufficient state money given to universities.

At that time, NIU Student Regent Jim Mertes added a sentence to the resolution stating: “The Board of Regents remains committed to seeking alternative funding sources and insuring accountability and efficiency in spending within the Regency system.”

When the board meets at NIU Thursday, Mertes said he will ask Regency Chancellor Roderick Groves about efforts to keep this commitment of responsible spending.

He said he wants to “put pressure on the chancellor and his staff that hasn’t been placed on them yet.”

In his Saturday letter to the Student Association senate, Mertes cites articles about allegations of misusing university funds at the two other Regency schools—Illinois State University and Sangamon State University.

ISU is under police investigation while the SSU administration has been accused of keeping a “slush” fund.

The actions, “substantive enough to merit police investigation,” prompted Mertes to comment on the possibility of money mismanagement within NIU’s governing system.

Reminding the chancellor and the university administrators about their financial commitment “is clearly needed and appropriate,” Mertes said.

If the allegations hold true, then “any university official who is misusing the funds that are supposed to support higher education must be eliminated,” he wrote.