NIU president to host Regents

By Nissin Behar

NIU President John La Tourette will have a dinner at his home for the Board of Regents and NIU faculty Wednesday night to honor several faculty members.

NIU faculty honored at the dinner will be university research professors, she said. Others invited are “named” college of business professors. Named professors are financially supported by a corporation, such as Earnst and Young or Square D.

NIU and the other two Illinois Regency universities, Illinois State University in Normal and Sangamon State University in Springfield, share more than the same governing board.

Sally Stevens, who for 25 years has arranged the Board’s meetings at NIU, said a reservation form is sent to the three Regency campuses and the chancellor’s office asking them where they want to stay.

Each president has his own style of handling the meeting. NIU President John La Tourette chooses an academic-oriented program. “The Regents don’t really have a lot of free time,” she said.

Cheryl Young, administrative assistant to ISU President Thomas Wallace, said her job is to facilitate the Regents’ meeting, when it is held at ISU three times a year. She makes motel reservations one year in advance because “they are so busy,” she said. About 40 rooms are reserved. She is also in charge of the catering and florists.

About one month before the meeting, invitations from the chancellor’s office, the three regency presidents and members of Joint University Advisory Committee are received.

Sometimes the Regents need flying arrangements or other transportation to get to campus, Young said.

ISU president usually hosts a dinner at his home. Sometimes the event is held in a renovated building to show campus progress, Young said.

“We like the Regents to get familiar with the campus, so we give them a tour,” Young said.

“One time last year there was a forum at the end of the public meeting where faculty got to interact with the Regents,” she said.

“I’m a trouble shooter—a gopher—for the actual meeting,” Young said. “I facilitate whatever needs to be done, such as answering phone calls, messages and faxing.” Young said she does “whatever needs to be done” such as setting up microphones.

ISU handles its parking lot by giving parking passes to those who attend the Regents’ meeting. “Parking is not a problem,” she said.

Emily Schirding, secretary for SSU President Durward Long, said the arrangements on the SSU campus are similar to those of NIU, except there are no parking passes because a public lot is available.

Regent members serve on a voluntary basis and are not paid for serving on the board. The Illinois governor rewards people by appointing them to the position. Their recognition is their contribution to higher education.