UC asks Regents to delay

By Joe Bush

The Illinois State University Academic Senate passed a resolution Wednesday night formally opposing proposed changes in Board of Regents policy.

NIU’s University Council passed a similar resolution earlier in the day. The council also asked that the Regents delay an extra 30 days before acting on the changes.

The ISU senate’s resolution asked that the board “undertake a comprehensive, public review of the duties of the chancellor in consultation with the Joint University Advisory Committee and the elected governing bodies of each institution.”

Board of Regents Chancellor Roderick Groves was quoted in Thursday’s Daily Vidette, the ISU student newspaper, as saying no substantial objections had been raised. He later said his quote was taken out of context.

Council member James Giles said, “I don’t know what more he wants,” referring to the controversy that has surrounded the proposed changes.

Council Executive Secretary Carroll Moody said “We can definitely say that ISU and NIU oppose the board changes whenever they vote on them. That’s clear now,” adding that it “would be very constructive to simply honor the request.”

Groves said delaying board actions would be “unusual, but not unheard of.”

The Board of Regents governs NIU, ISU and Sangamon State University in Springfield.

Under board policy, issues are acted on one month after being introduced to the board, Groves said. The proposed changes, seen by many as an attempt to limit the powers of the university presidents, were presented at the July Regents meeting and are scheduled for action at the Sept. 20 and 21 meetings. The board never meets in August.

Moody said due to the summertime absence of faculty and students, campus officials knew there would not be sufficient time to consult with these faculty and students in order to produce a “reasonable response” to the board proposals.

He said JUAC’s original interest in the changes will be expounded upon in a report prepared by JUAC chairman Doug Anderson. Moody said the report, which contains input from each of the regency schools, will deal primarily with how the proposed changes will affect each campus’ faculty participation.

Council member Linda Sons said “they (board members) don’t have a lot to gain by going ahead, and at least a little to gain by waiting for 30 days.”

Giles said there has not been effective communication from the board about the proposals.

“I have never yet heard from Groves or anyone why they want to do these things or why it has to happen so fast,” Giles said.

Speaking about Groves’ contention that the proposed changes are merely re-wordings of existing policies, Moody said that “all sorts of elements simply do not accept that explanation.”

Though Groves said he has “been to both campuses (NIU and ISU) and made a good faith effort” to answer questions, those questions had to be submitted in advance in writing.

Sons said Groves “sidestepped” some questions, and Moody said the questioning format was “slightly irritating” to some council members. Groves did answer on-the-spot follow-up questions, however.

Moody said Groves stated publicly that NIU faculty and students request for a separate governing board was “a major prod” in the board’s decision to propose the changes.

Moody also said those who want separate governing boards were not discouraged when the Illinois legislature voted down a bill which would have established such a board.

“We can definitely say that ISU and NIU oppose the board changes whenever they vote on them. That’s clear now.”

Carroll Moody, council executive secretary