Board to consider officials’ opinions

By Joe Bush

NORMAL—A two-member Board of Regents committee will consider suggestions by Regency campus officials concerning proposed changes in Board policy, a move that does not please the Joint University Advisory Committee.

Regents Chairman Carol Burns said at Wednesday’s Personnel and Operations Committee meeting the committee will consult with Regents Chancellor Rod Groves, the three university presidents and JUAC Chairman Doug Anderson.

The Board will meet today at Illinois State University in Normal. The Regents govern NIU, ISU and Sangamon State University in Springfield.

Burns said the committee will discuss the proposal for two weeks and complete their considerations two weeks before the October Regents meetings at NIU. The formulation of this committee was announced before the Board opened discussion of the proposed changes that have been seen by JUAC, ISU’s Academic Senate and NIU’s University Council as an attempt to limit the powers of the university presidents.

In that discussion, the Board dealt with questions it had received from JUAC concerning proposed wording changes. An opening statement by Personnel and Operations Committee Chairman Harry Wellbank states the Board’s intention on various points of contention in the proposals.

Wellbank said it was not the Board’s intention to deny universities’ initiatives, diminish presidents’ power, to separate presidents from the Board or to eliminate campus input. The changes were not the initiative of Groves, but the Board as a whole, Wellbank said.

In a subsequent meeting—their first since the Board’s proposal in July—JUAC formulated a response to the meeting, a meeting which raised more questions than it answered.

Besides the unabated confusion over deletion or addition of language in Board policy, JUAC members said the two-week committee discussion period is not long enough. The committee contends the Board’s policies need “global” restructuring instead of the proposed “piecemeal streamlining,” and it argues that Wellbank’s opening statements be the Board’s official position on the changes.

JUAC member William Monat, who is also a former NIU President and Regency Chancellor, and others suggested that because Burns stated Groves’ controversial memo to the presidents was unfortunate and because the changes outlined in the memo are not in the Board’s regulations, the Board should declare the memo “inoperable.”

Anderson said he would not feel comfortable being the only JUAC member in consultation with the two-week committee and will voice this grievance to the Board today along with other general JUAC complaints.

UC Executive Secretary J. Carroll Moody will air NIU’s position today while Leonard Schmaltz will voice the views of ISU’s Academic Senate.