Instructors press

By Stephanie Bradley

Several NIU instructors questioned Board of Regents Chancellor Roderick Groves for details about the funding of Professor Clyde Wingfield’s Washington “administrative assignment” Wednesday.

At a special meeting of the NIU Faculty Assembly, Sociology Professor Herbert Rubin questioned where funding for three months of Wingfield’s year-long leave of absence was obtained. He pointed out that Wingfield is on a nine-month contract as an instructor, which leaves three months left for some division of NIU to fund.

However, Rubin said there is no money in the summer school budget from which to obtain funds, since summer school is funded by the lapse process. The lapse process allows NIU to obtain money from the unused funds instructors are allocated in each budget.

Groves said he did not know where the funds came from to pay Wingfield, but there is a “personal services budget.”

Communications Studies Professor Charles Larson said he had recalled that Wingfield said he was given the proposal for the American Association of State Colleges and Universities assignment by Groves in a Northern Star article.

Groves said in response, “(Wingfield’s) comment to the Star … was, at best, a partial truth. He wanted to do it (the job).”

Some instructors questioned whether a sufficient number of NIU faculty were consulted in the decision to give Wingfield the leave. English Professor James Giles asked who was consulted, and Groves told him he could not release the names but that NIU was consulted and that there is evidence of the consultation.

Rubin said his department was not consulted.

Robert Lane, business systems and analysis instructor, told Groves, “Your answers are wobbly. Was it (NIU) or was it not consulted?”

Lane and Rubin indicated that some instructors might not be able to take sabbaticals because of funds going to Wingfield’s assignment.

Groves said Wingfield’s new job is “not a sabbatical, not a faculty leave of absence. I am not aware that anyone has been denied a sabbatical” because of Wingfield.