Staff to voice concern over Groves’ plan

By Katrina Kelly

The top story in Monday’s Northern Star was not printed in its entirety. The following story includes the omitted paragraphs as well as new information.

Although Board of Regents Chancellor Roderick Groves’ will not arrive on campus until Wednesday to answer questions about his proposed policy changes, his actions already have raised some questions of their own.

A March 27 memo from Groves to the three Regency presidents and Regents chairwoman Carol Burns outlines Groves’ proposal in detail. Both The Northern Star and the Pantagraph in Bloomington-Normal attempted to obtain copies of the memo under the state’s Freedom of Information Act and both requests were denied.

The Pantagraph obtained the memo through other means and printed excerpts in their Sunday issue. “The Board will expect the presidents and their staffs to work in close cooperation with the chancellor and his staff on all matters the chancellor determines to require system coordination,” the memo states.

Gordon Dorn, NIU art professor and president of the NIU chapter of the American Association of University Professors, said the AAUP executive committee met on Monday to approve a two-page response to Groves’ proposal. The committee asks that a decision on Groves’ proposal be postponed “at least one month,” Dorn said.

The AAUP letter opposes “the effort to diminish the prestige of the university president” and strongly supports the president’s direct access to the Regents, Dorn said. Groves’ proposed changes might expand support for a separate governing board for NIU, Dorn said.

Groves will attend a meeting of the NIU Faculty Assembly Wednesday at 3 p.m. in room 505 of the Holmes Student Center. Groves has requested that all questions that he is expected to answer at the meeting be submitted to him at least 24 hours in advance.

Student Association President Huda Scheidelman called Groves’ request “an effort to be able to scrutinize what is asked. It’s silly.”

Scheidelman called Groves’ proposal an attempt to “centralize the board’s power around him,” and said it would only hurt the Regents. “(Groves’ proposal) hurts the university as a whole” by limiting what the president can say, she said. Groves “should be able to answer whatever questions come up.”

University Council Executive Secretary Carroll Moody said Faculty Assembly members were sent notices in Friday’s campus mail of Groves’ intention to attend Wednesday’s meeting. Questions for Groves should be submitted to Moody no later than 10 a.m. today, Moody said.

“It would be presumptuous to guess in advance” what the climate of the meeting will be, Moody said.

Moody said he is uncertain of the format Groves will follow in answering questions. Groves might simply answer the list of submitted questions or ask individuals to direct their queries to him verbally at the meeting, Moody said.

Groves will answer follow-up questions, provided that they are on the same subject as the original question, Moody said.

After attending the Assembly meeting, Groves will travel to Illinois State University to attend a meeting of ISU’s Academic Senate, a body similar to NIU’s Faculty Assembly, Moody said. The Regents govern NIU, ISU and Sangamon State University in Springfield.