Wingfield’s new position viewed

By Dina Paluzzi

Former NIU president and current political science professor Clyde Wingfield’s work in one of several senior fellowships at the American Association of State Colleges and Universities entails the development of international programs.

Association President Allan Ostar said Wingfield is qualified for the job because he has experience with Japanese and Korean languages. He will help a number of institutions expand international relations, Ostar said.

Wingfield will work primarily from the association office in Washington, D.C., Ostar said. Any international traveling will be possible only if outside funds become available. There are no immediate plans for Wingfield to travel, he said.

Ostar said he does not remember who initiated the suggestion that Wingfield work with the association, but he remembers talking to Board of Regents Chancellor Roderick Groves about Wingfield. “It seemed like a good opportunity for the association,” Ostar said.

NIU Student Association Treasurer Diana Turowski presented a petition with 2,100 signatures to the Regents at the Sept. 15 Regents’ meeting. The petition called for Wingfield to remain at NIU and to continue teaching political science. “In light of the budget cuts (to higher education), he could be used much more here,” Turowski said.

In light of the state education budget cuts, Turowski said she does not feel Wingfield’s reassignment was appropriate. “It sends a bad message to the Illinois General Assembly,” she said.

Turowski said she has received another 200 signatures which she will send to the Regents along with a letter asking for a response. She said although it is a “touchy issue,” she still has not received a response from the Regents.

Ostar said Wingfield’s assignment to the association is “not unusual.” He said that every year the association offers two or three fellowships to university presidents or acting vice presidents taking sabbaticals.

The association usually does not employ professors because it deals with issues unrelated to specific academic departments, he said.

The 23rd edition of the Encyclopedia of Associations described the AASCU as “organized to enable members to express their views on national affairs …”