Board might add alumni

By Nissin Behar

Geography will play a key role if alumni from NIU and Illinois State University at Normal are added to the Board of Regents, said NIU’s University Council executive secretary.

“I have been advocating alumni for several months,” said J. Carroll Moody, adding that the absence of alumni Regents has been one criticism of the board.

If the board added members from DeKalb, these individuals could be on campus more often, Moody said. “Geographical area gives people an interest,” he said.

Illinois Rep. Gordon Ropp, R-Normal, introduced a bill two weeks ago proposing the inclusion of one alumni Regent from NIU and one from Illinois State University at Normal. The Regents also govern Sangamon State University at Springfield.

Passage of Ropp’s bill will be “a very positive step,” Moody said. The board consists of nine voting members and three non-voting student Regents, one from each university.

“Alumni would have direct knowledge and would continue to be concerned about the well-being of the institution,” Moody said. The board meets at NIU three times in an academic year, he said.

Regent Sylvia Nichols said she is not against having alumni on the board and thinks it would be good representation. “I will not stand in the bill’s way,” she said.

Alumni can contribute experience to the board with their ability to relate to different perspectives, concerns and problems, she said. However, Nichols warned of “dangers … that alumni would only consider matters of special interest.”

Illinois Gov. James Thompson appoints members to the Board of Regents, which are subject to the Illinois Senate’s approval. Nichols said before she was appointed to the Regents, she was contacted by the governor and asked to submit a resume.

No Regents live in DeKalb, Moody said. Regent Jerry Bender lives in Rockford and Regent Harry Wellbank lives in Crystal Lake, Moody said.