University Council discusses capital projects, shared governance

By Ashley Dwy

DeKALB — The Faculty Senate discussed the capital and capital renewal projects, as well as a brief update about the state of shared governance at the University Council’s recent meeting Oct. 16 at Altgeld Hall.

The top 11 capital projects are planned construction and renovations on campus buildings. The FY21 budget request lists 11 buildings slated for construction or renovation:

  1. Health and Informatics and Technology Center
  2. DuSable Hall
  3. Williston Hall
  4. Still Hall.
  5. Gabel Hall and Graham Hall
  6. Davis Hall
  7. McMurry Hall
  8. Reavis Hall
  9. Watson Hall
  10. Psychology/Computer Science Building
  11. Montgomery Hall

Thu said the capital renewal list includes critical electrical infrastructure improvements, Swen Parson Hall’s roof replacement, the Music Building booth and masonry stone restoration in Still Hall.

Thu has been working on drafting language changes to the constitutional bylaws, and was able to send a draft to Chair of the Rules, Governance and Election Committee, Richard Siegesmund, Thu said. Siegesmund’s committee is one of two joint committees between the University Council and the Faculty Senate, so the draft was sent to be vetted.

Thu presented a PowerPoint in a previous Faculty Senate meeting comparing NIU’s shared governance structure with its sister institutions in Illinois. He said the Faculty Senate overwhelmingly voted to move forward with drafting reforms.

The committee has until Nov. 20 to go through the draft.

“We still have to package them in a way that is easy to digest, so next time there should be a report in terms of what we’ve done and what we need to begin the process of shared governance,” Siegesmund said.

Shared governance, at this point, is still being put into motion in both the Faculty Senate and the Student Association.

“I’ve been working a lot with our shared governance partners on this reimagining of shared governance,” Ian Pearson, SA Speaker of the Senate, said. “I met with Dr. Steven a number of times with fellow shared governance leaders to discuss the types of changes that could be made and how student representation would best look in any potential scenario; that work is ongoing.”