Groves gets faculty letter

By Stephanie Bradley

Faculty Assembly members have sent a letter critical of Board of Regents Chancellor Roderick Groves’ response to questions at a Sept. 28 meeting with the group.

The faculty found Groves’ answers to questions they asked him insufficient on topics such as who was consulted on former NIU President Clyde Wingfield’s “reassignment” to Washington, D.C.

Groves said last week that he had “been informed (the letter) was coming.” He said he “did not think there was anything to be addressed. There is not much of a problem.” The chancellor said he is drafting a response to the letter.

Faculty Assembly member Robert Lane said he thought Groves’ interpretation was “strange” and that if a “body unanimously chooses to write the letter, there must be a problem.”

The letter referred to committee allegations that Groves and the other Regents’ did not adhere to the newly revised NIU Constitution and Bylaws when they granted Wingfield’s reassignment.

The letter stated, “There is a building perception on campus that the Chancellor and the Board of Regents are making decisions which are contrary to our newly revised Constitution and Bylaws. We hope that our three-year effort to create a viable Constitution and Bylaws has not been in vain.”

The letter also states that members of the NIU community hope the Regents “will provide positive and proactive leadership in their behalf.”

Judy Bischoff, University Council executive secretary, said there was a step in that direction at a luncheon Oct. 19 at which Groves and members of the Joint University Action Committee discussed the letter.

Bischoff said she believed the luncheon was productive and that many of the “concerns” of the two groups were addressed at it, but she would not say specifically what Groves said.

She said it remains to be seen whether the Regents keep the lines of communication open that she believed had been opened by the luncheon.

NIU President John LaTourette said, “I am pleased that any problems that may have occurred earlier are being addressed. More than ever, we need to have a strong, effective communications within higher education and with the public because of the current budget situation….

“It is important that we communicate openly and effectively among ourselves as well as with the public,” he said.

Bischoff was responsible for writing the letter to Groves. She offered the letter to four members of the Faculty Assembly, Gordon Dorn, William Monat, Linda Sons and Robert Lane, who evaluated it and gave suggestions.