Regent’s meetings belong on campus

The magnanimous Board of Regents recently decided faculty and students at the three Regency schools should be allowed to attend and have more of an impact on board meetings.

At first glance, this decision comes across as a sound and generous move by the board. But taking a closer look, one will realize that student involvement would be assumed in the first place. Why do we suddenly need a “policy” that allows student access and input?

Ironically, the Regents came to the conclusion that university input is important while holding their meeting in a rented hotel facility in Rosemont. Normally, the group meets on a rotating basis at either NIU, Illinois State University, or Sangamon State University where students and faculty can conveniently attend the meetings.

At the meeting, Regents Chancellor Roderick Groves said he wanted the practice of rotating the Regents meetings between the three schools to continue because it allow “easy access” to the Regents. If Goves was so concerned with public access to the Regents, he never would have allowed the December meeting to be held away from a Regency university in the first place.

It seems that Groves decided it didn’t look good for him to spend the extra money it cost to move the meeting to the posh surroundings of a suburban hotel. So he tried to gloss over the move by calling it a retreat, at which he delcared the public is number one in the hearts of the Regents.

To add to the confusion, the chancellor attempted to close a portion of the December meeting to the public before finally yielding at the last moment and calling off the planned executive session.

Perhaps the reason Groves wanted to close the meeting was because he knew he was going to be named chancellor on a permanent basis at the a meeting. But such an issue is of supreme importance and shold be discussed in public.

One way the board could ensure more student input would be to allow the student regent from each school to have a vote on issues raised at the meetings. What is the point of having a student regent on the board if he is not even allowed to vote?

Groves and the rest of the REgents are not off base in setting the policy. It’s just the way in which the situation was handled that leads one to second guess ther sincerity.

It is imperitive that people at the Regency univerities have access to the Regents and or allow to attend all board meetings. Action speaks louder than written policy. Now all the board has to do is follow through with its latest decision and allow its constituency a voice.