IBHE to update bills

By Diane Buerger

The Illinois Board of Higher Education will update education-related bills currently in review by the Illinois State Legislature at the board’s scheduled Tuesday meeting.

The board will meet at Illinois Benedictine College in Lisle at 9 a.m.

Ten of the bills concerning education are sponsored by Rep. John Countryman, R-DeKalb, and six bills are sponsored by Sen. Patrick Welch, D-Peru. Also under review are HB350 and SB001, the bills which ammend the Northern Illinois University Act, and create a separate governing board for NIU.

The Board of Regents govern NIU, Illinois State University in Normal and Sangamon State University In Springfield.

Ross Hodell, IBHE spokesman, said the separate governing board bill has not yet been discussed by the board, but said it has been opposed in the past.

The IBHE remains supportive of the state’s “system of systems,” in which universities are governed by the Board of Regents, the Board of Governors, Southern Illinois University Board of Trustees and the University of Illinois Board of Trustees.

The Board of Governors govern Chicago State University, Eastern Illinois University, Western Illinois University, Governors State University and Northeastern Illinois University.

The Board also plans to discuss the establishment of committees concerning the issues of university scope, structure and productivity, undergraduate education and minority student achievement.

The Committee on Scope, Structure and Productivity will assess the goals of the state and of the board and how they relate to higher education. The committee will also consider how funding will help to meet the goals of higher education.

The IBHE will update the undergraduate financial aid issue in Illinois and review the kinds of financial aid applied for and the advantages and disadvantages of various types of aid.

Hodell said the board will review a program on feedback from colleges to high schools on how well their graduates are doing on college and university campuses. The IBHE also will review a grant established to evaluate minority transfer programs, Hodell said.