Officials suggest potential alumni

By Vickie Snow

While it’s unclear who will choose the alumni to join NIU’s governing board, officials aren’t lost in the fog.

Last September, Gov. James Thompson signed House Bill 2842 which adds three alumni to the Board of Regents. As of yet, he hasn’t appointed the new members and Governor-elect Jim Edgar might take over the responsibility.

University officials have some ideas as to what the governor will look for when reviewing the list of candidates.

Susan Lund, director of NIU Alumni Relations, said the group gave NIU President John La Tourette a list of six potential nominees.

She said the decision will involve the candidates’ political affiliations since the governor “wants to keep the board politically balanced.”

Gov. Thompson contacted Alumni Relations to ask about one nominee’s political stance, she said.

The bill states “not more than six of the appointed members of the board shall be affiliated with the same political party at the time of their appointment … nor shall a member be a employee of the State or Federal Goverment.”

Phil Adams, the board’s associate vice chancellor for External Relations, said since there’s 11 board members, the political makeup has to be divided by having six members of one party and five of the other.

“There’s not as much leeway as you’d expect,” Adams said.

With the Senate’s consent, the governor appoints all board members except for the three non-voting student regents who are elected by their universities.

The names of the six candidates for the board alumni seats are being withheld to avoid “embarrassing the five losers,” Lund said.

The Regents govern NIU, Sangamon State University in Springfield and Illinois State University in Normal.