IBHE criticized for supervision method

By Vickie Snow

CHICAGO—Not only did state university officials come under fire Tuesday, but the Illinois Board of Higher Education was criticized for its method of supervising the state’s colleges.

University and business leaders charged the IBHE with failure to have a concrete plan for approving new programs and centers. Some IBHE members fired back by saying turf wars clog their abilities to serve the state.

The IBHE was accused of working with a 15-year-old master plan. But “anyone should know better” than to leave such an impression, said IBHE member Rey Brune.

The last formal master plan was devised in the mid-70s. It is continually updated, however, as issues develop, he said.

Illinois needs a better system for delivering higher education, said Roosevelt University President Theodore L. Gross, the main opponent to NIU’s Hoffman Estates Center.

Richard D. Wagner, executive director of the IBHE, said the IBHE, overseeing 190 degree-granting institutions, “serves well the people of Illinois.”

Thomas Ten Hoeve, Jr., president of Oakton Community College, said he is concerned about the process the IBHE has in dealing with overseeing universities’ off-campus continual education training.

Thomas D. Layzell, chancellor of the University of Illinois’ Board of Governors, said the IBHE needs to review its policies for resolving off-campus program disputes.

IBHE members said they are faced with turf wars with almost every proposal for a new center.

“Turf battles divert the energy of the IBHE and are a waste of our time,” said IBHE member Robert English.