Regents delay stand decision

By Suzanne Tomse

Whether or not the Board of Regents will take a stand in support of the student regent vote will not be determined until its April board meeting.

NIU Student Regent Dave Agazzi raised a motion at Thursday’s Regents meeting asking them not to influence the Illinois Legislature’s decision to grant student regents a vote on Regents matters.

Upon the motion of Regent Milton McClure, which was seconded by Sangamon State University Student Regent Ken Wiedner, the board voted in favor of tabling the motion until its next meeting.

McClure raised the point that the board did not know when the student regent vote bill would be introduced to the legislature and that details of the legislation were not yet fully known by board members.

egents were concerned if passage of the bill would affect only Regency universities or would affect others in the state as well. In addition, some Regents were concerned whether or not the student regents would be appointed or elected by the governor. Currently, student regents are appointed or elected by student representatives.

Agazzi said the bill would be introduced to the House by Rep. John Countryman, R-DeKalb, within the next few weeks and the Regents needed to discuss their concerns before this time.

“Most of the issues could have been discussed today … the motion to table ignores the fact that by the next time this board meets again, the House Committee on Higher Education will have made its recommendations to the House of Representaives,” Agazzi said.

Chancellor Roderick Groves said he would not “misrepresent” the Regents if the legislature requests a position; however, he would give them his personal position on the student regent vote.

“I believe as the legislation has been framed, as I understand it having been framed, I couldn’t support it personally. If the notion is a good idea it should apply to all boards and not just to the Board of Regents,” Groves said.

“If the notion makes sense it should focus on conditions that exist in other circumstances as well,” he added.

Illinois State University Student Regent Tom Meiron is opposed to the student regents having a vote. He believes other constituents, such as faculty, also will want a regent vote as well. In addition, he thinks if the student regent vote is passed, the governor would appoint the student regents instead of student representatives from the universities.

“I think a lot of the things we are risking in this are unnecessary … right now we can achieve what we want. We can do a good job representing our schools just by our private lobbying and persuasion.” Meiron is in favor of having the student regents being appointed or elected by the students.

Although Wiedner is in favor of the student regent vote he does not want the student regents to be appointed by the govenor.”I have deep reservations about the govenor appointing the regent. Right now I am elected by the students and if someone is going to toy with that, I really want to look at what they’re talking about,” he said.