Committee eyes alternate lecture program funding

By Elizabeth M. Behland

An advisory committee for NIU President John LaTourette met for its first session of the semester on Friday and began reviewing fee alternatives for the Graduate Colloquim Fund that allows guest speakers to lecture graduate students.

Anthony Fusaro, President’s Fee Study Committee chairman, said the graduate school has not requested a colloquium fee increase for fiscal year 1990. The school is requesting to keep its FY89 budget of about $118,000.

The graduate school fee has had a carryover of funds from the past year because the colloquium did not include as many speakers as it might have, Fusaro said. The graduate school “generated more income than they spent,” he said. The committee did not make a final decision on whether or not the fee will remain the same.

Student Association Treasurer Diana Turowski introduced a proposal to have the colloquium fee divided among undergraduate students, the College of Law students and graduate students. The graduate students currently pay the colloquium fee.

Turowski said that some graduate students “claim they do not use the (student) activities fee the same way as undergrads do.” She said, “The graduate colloquium fee makes them have the highest fee expenses out of all the undergrad, grad and law students.”

Graduate students currently pay 56 cents per credit hour for the student activities fee and $1.63 per credit hour for the colloquium fee. Law students pay $1.01 per credit hour for the activities fee and 92 cents for the Law School Fee. Undergraduates pay $1.43 per credit hour for the activities fee. All other student fees are equally distributed.

Graduate students have suggested to Turowski that their activities fee be decreased or the colloquium fee should be “equalized” among the three student groups.

Not only graduate students go to see the colloquium speakers, but undergraduates and law students attend as well, Turowski said.

Eddie Williams, NIU vice president for finance and planning, said it is true that students other than those that pay the colloquium fee attend the lectures, but “if you broaden the base of the fee you have to broaden the base of those involved in determining how to spend the fee.” He said, “The Graduate Colloquium Fee is designed to augment the graduate studies and the graduate student. If we start broadening the base of that, I think we change the whole focus” of the program.

Turowski said if the colloquium fee is divided among the student groups, it would be “turned into another programming fee.”

The committee decided to continue the colloquium fee discussion and include it in a review of the student activities fee which will be discussed at the next meeting.

The next meeting is tentatively scheduled for Oct. 4 at 8 a.m. in the Lowden Hall conference room.