Program prioritization town hall meeting lacks answers


NIU President Doug Baker speaks to the 200-person crowd at the NIU town hall meeting Wednesday in the Holmes Student Center, Regency Room.

By Kaylyn Zielinski

The purpose of Wednesday’s town hall meeting was to discuss the looming topic of program prioritization which will determine which programs on campus will be eliminated, consolidated, have funding cut or receive additional funding, but specifics were not discussed.

While the meeting did discuss program prioritization, I was expecting the meeting to cover what programs would be cut from the university, what programs would receive more funding, and how students and NIU employees should expect the changes to impact them throughout the  semesters.

There was no direct answer as to what programs would be cut from the university and what programs would receive more funding. The only answer that was given was to wait until the task forces’ reports are released online on Monday.

This topic is serious, and it seems callous to have students and NIU employees search through the reports on their own to find out whether or not their university is thinking about cutting their program.

The reports of the program priortizations’ task force will not be the final say as to the categorization of programs.

A key point of the meeting was to discuss how the university is encouraging feedback when these reports are released on Monday. While accepting feedback online, it was not addressed how and to what extent the feedback would change, if at all, the university’s rankings of the academic and administrative programs.

These things should have been thoroughly addressed seeing as the campus will be affected by the task forces’ decisions.

On a high note, it was briefly stated that the university will honor contracts and that current students will be able to finish their programs regardless of where their program will be categorized.