Regents to vote on promotion policy

By Claudia Curry and Dina Paluzzi

The Board of Regents will vote today on a promotional increment policy which would develop a common rate for academic promotions at NIU and Illinois State University.

The Regents will meet at 9 a.m. in the Skyroom of the Holmes Student Center.

Regents Chancellor Roderick Groves’ report states the reasons for the policy are to encourage a higher level of performance and to give the individual faculty member a sense of personal achievement.

NIU “has always rewarded promotion financially but at a low level compared to practice elsewhere,” the report states.

Presently at NIU the rate for promotion from associate professor to full professor is $60, and the promotion rate from assistant professor to associate professor is $50. ISU does not provide financial rewards for promotion.

NIU Student Regent Nick Valadez said at Wednesday’s Regents Personnel Committee meeting that he understands the reasoning behind the policy, but “the individuals suffering the brunt are the students themselves.”

Valadez said that while he is not against the merit pay raise system, the funding could be used more wisely to “offset the likelihood of future tuition increases.

“We are further compensating university administrators, and there is continual emphasis on administration when we should be addressing the accessibility of education.”

Groves said that if the policy is passed, he and the Regency university presidents would begin the process of developing a common rate at NIU and ISU this year. He said he will provide information at the January Regents meeting about possible rates and funding sources, based on research findings. “We haven’t arrived at a plan for implementation,” he said.

The Personnel Committee also approved Groves’ recommendation to consolidate the Regents’ standing committee structure, which the Regents will vote on today.

The finance and facilities committees and the student affairs and academic affairs committees already have consolidated. Groves proposed that the Personnel Committee combine with the Labor Relations Committee and be renamed the Personnel and Operations Committee.

At Wednesday’s Academic and Student Affairs Committee meeting, members discussed alcohol and sexual harassment policies at Regency universities.

Jon Dalton, vice president for student affairs, said the purpose of discussing the policies at the meeting was to compare and review policies between the three universities.

“The Board of Regents is interested in hearing about our policies and seeing that they are clear and consistent,” he said.

Throughout the discussion, members of Students for the Freedom of Martha Palmer were allowed to ask questions concerning alcohol and sexual harassment policies.

The students also were given 20 minutes after the agenda discussions to address university administrators about the firing of CHANCE counselor Martha Palmer.