Report draws faculty concern

By Diane Buerger

The Faculty Assembly voiced concern Wednesday about the modifications of Board of Regents proposed policy changes to be voted on this month.

The procedure modifications were made available only to the Regents, the three university presidents and the media when the report was available Tuesday. The Regents govern NIU, Illinois State University in Normal and Sangamon State University in Springfield.

“By 11 a.m. today, no JUAC (Joint University Advisory Committee) members were contacted,” said University Council Executive Secretary J. Carroll Moody at Wednesday’s Assembly meeting.

Moody said the language in the modified changes was “somewhat different.” The report was prepared by an ad hoc committee of Regents Chairman Carol Burns and Regent Harry Wellbank.

“All those resolutions and statements made by JUAC and the numbers of letters received by Carol Burns and Harry Wellbank have very clearly had an effect on the Board,” Moody said. “We will see what transpires between now and the next board meeting.”

The NIU University Council, the Faculty Assembly and the Student Association have formally opposed the policy changes, which many have seen as an attempt to limit the power of the university presidents.

Faculty Assembly member J. Patrick White expressed concern about status of the three Regents whose terms expire at the end of this year. The terms of Wellbank, Burns and Regent Brewster Parker will expire.

These three Regents have yet to be re-appointed by Gov. James Thompson, who might make a decision during the short Illinois legislative session beginning this week, Moody said.

“This is falling into the realm of a political issue,” White said, “It is not beneficial to anyone’s candidacy.”

In other business, Rules and Governance Chairman William Monat told the Assembly that the Regents approved an NIU Faculty Senate in September. The Senate will not convene until next fall after elections have been completed.

The 80-member senate will replace the Faculty Assembly and will include a representative from each department.

Department nominations will take place after the beginning of the spring semester. A study by the Assembly will determine if departments with more than 50 faculty members will have a second representative.

The University Affairs Committee will study a proposed student liaison to the Assembly. Student Association President Huda Scheidelman said the liaison would contribute discussion only to issues involving students. The non-voting student liaison would be appointed by the SA president and would report to the SA Senate.