Regent’s view

The Northen Star’s editorial of Jan. 12, “Regents’ meetings belong on campus,” has a sound premise, but this is only indicated in the headline. There are several misconceptions in that editorial that should be cleared up.

First, the “magnaminous board” did not decide to allow faculty and students to attend Board of Regents meetings. It was made quite clear that these meetings have always been open to the public, but public participation has been regretfully low. This is because of apathy, not restraint.

Second, Chancellor Groves did not try to “gloss over the move” of the meeting to Rosemont and call it a retreat. This retreat has been planned since before I became a regent. The retreat coincided with the December meeting at the request of a majority of board members. The reason for having it in Rosemont was because of access to O’Hare airport. We interviewed and selected a chancellor at that meeting and two of the candidates came in from O’Hare.

Third, and most repugnant, is the insinuation that Chancellor Groves “knew he was going to be named chancellor.” I can assure you this was not the case. The interviews were taken seriously and there was careful consideration of each candidate. Rod Groves was by far the best candidate. Even if what you printed was true, how would you know that? Did you quote a source? No, not in the editorial, and the writer should realize the power of his/her speculation.

Fourth, there is a general slant to the article that there has been a lack of studnt input with the Board of Regents. I was surprised to see you indicate that three students are members of the board, including myself. Do you see a problem with my role as Student Regent or the other students that sit on the board? If so, please let us know.

Although you have shown no harm from the December meeting being held in Rosemont, I agree that future meetings should be held on the campuses. It is much easier for constituencies to participate, if they so choose; however, they rarely do. We should all be working together, including the Star, to ensure that input is maximized.

Finally, I would like to applaud your call for a Student Regent vote. Your suggestions are correct that the lack of a vote can be an impediment to meaningful participation. You are correct in questioning the logic of the students being members but not being able to vote. It’s like saying that someone is a citizen of the United States and that they can participate in open debate, but they cannot decide on the final outcome with a full, unequivocal vote.

David Agazzi

NIU Student Regent