Board to add NIU graduate

By Vickie Snow

A graduate from NIU will sit on its governing board for the first time as soon as November.

Gov. James Thompson Tuesday signed House Bill 2842, adding two alumni to the Board of Regents, bringing the total number of voting members to 11 and three non-voting student members.

The board makes decisions on anything from campus remodeling projects to class selections.

The board governs NIU, Illinois State University in Bloomington and Sangamon State University in Springfield.

Both NIU and ISU will have two board seats for alumni, while SSU will wait until 1991 when a vacancy opens.

Adding two members will keep the odd number of seats that are necessary to avoid a tie vote.

SSU will sit it out until a seat opens because it’s a relatively new school and doesn’t have a large alumni pool like NIU and ISU.

University officials are glad to see their work in securing the seats pay off.

Regents Chancellor Roderick Groves said “we have more than 150,000 alumni and it’ll be good to have them on the board.”

“We have never had a graduate from a Regency university on the board. Most of the members graduated from private schools or other public schools,” said Susan Lund, executive director of the NIU Alumni Association.

By adding alumni, “we will have people who are knowledgeable and sensitive to NIU’s needs,” she said.

University Council Executive Secretary J. Carroll Moody agreed that Thompson did the right thing by signing the bill.

“It’s a major step forward for NIU, ISU and eventually SSU,” Moody said. “(The act) will add a dimension to the board that hasn’t been there before.”

Alumni have a direct connection with the campuses since they usually have a continuing relationship with the universities after graduation, he said.

The governor, with the approval of the Senate, appoints the members who serve a six-year term.

Beth Bosch, Thompson’s press aide, said there is no time schedule for these appointments and the new members will be announced as soon as the governor decides.

However, the new members probably won’t be elected until the new governor is in office in November, Groves said.

NIU President John La Tourette was given a recommendation from the Alumni Association naming some respected alumni, Lund said.