Program prioritization continues

By Michael Urbanec

DeKALB — The Faculty Senate met Wednesday to discuss topics including program prioritization, school pride and the usage of

Acting Provost Chris McCord presented data from the program prioritization process the school started in fall 2015.

“The goal of program prioritization is to better align resources with administration and to make better use of our resources,” McCord said.

McCord said the program prioritization process helps the university go through their budget and decide what parts of the school can be run more efficiently.

“Some of these have moved very quickly to resolutions, some have identified and completed these actions and some of the conversations are still ongoing,” McCord said.

McCord said there has been no direct cost from the program’s response implementation. Of the 45 academic programs in the process of adjusting, 10 have already taken significant action; 28 are in the process of taking action. There are 41 programs that have been or will be eliminated, and four programs will be created.

Program prioritization has shifted $13.5 million in funding around the university and created a $1.8 million growth in faculty hiring, McCord said.

The program prioritization the university is going through is a part of its shift toward a continuous improvement model, McCord said.

“You might go years and years without cleaning out the basement,” McCord said. “You have two choices: You can wait and let it accumulate over and over and then do it again, or you can say, ‘OK, now we keep things orderly moving forward so we don’t have to do this again.’”

Kelly Wesener Michael, Student Affairs associate vice president and Dean of Students, spoke to the senate about cultivating pride in the university. She said she wants students to wear red and black on Fridays, and classes with many students wearing red and black should take a picture and post it to social media.

“We want people coming together and showing Huskie pride,” Wesener Michael said. “We welcome any ideas as a community we could do to get folks invested.”

The Faculty Senate was also made aware of NIU’s campus-wide subscription to, a website featuring many courses related to classes students take. NIU spends $72,000 per year on its subscription.

Lynda features over 5,000 video courses ranging from business to design and IT and is available for use to anyone at NIU.

“ is an online learning tool that the university has purchased and can be incorporated into the classroom,” said Cindy Kozumplik, Division of Information Technology enterprise training and training specialist.

Clarification: The article originally said  there has been no direct cost for program prioritization. There has been no direct cost for the response implementation; however other costs associated with the program have totaled $287,196.