InFocus: How transparent is NIU with program prioritization?

By Northern Star staff

Angela Pagan

In regards to transparency with program prioritization I would give NIU a C+.

I feel when the program started there was an intention to be clear about how this process would improve NIU overall; however as the process has gone on getting more complicated, some details are more and more difficult to understand and therefore less transparent to the average student like myself.

For example, I still do not understand how program prioritization works in relation to NIU’s budget. I think NIU has not had a stellar track record recently in showing how it spends its funds. In addition to that, the university should lay out exactly what and how money is spent on academic programs currently.

Something I will commend is the fact that NIU has assigned highly qualified faculty to their task force. On the other hand, I have yet to see where significant student input is taken into account during this process. That is the main reason I did not grade NIU’s program prioritization highly at its current stage.

Abby Zaccaria

Overall, if I could grade NIU’s transparency, I would give it an A-.

NIU said on its website it would be completely transparent about the program prioritization process and let students know about the details of it.

So far, it’s doing a pretty good job letting students know the details. It’s let students know who is on the task forces in charge of prioritizing the programs and released the criteria they are using for peer reviewing administrative and academic programs on its website.

NIU hasn’t listed the different programs it has or told students about which programs it considers a priority yet, but the task forces haven’t started prioritization process yet. Program prioritization won’t be finished until spring, according to an NIU Today news release.

Keith Hernandez

I would have to give the transparency of program prioritization a solid C.

While NIU is doing fairly well at updating the program prioritization website and taking the time and care needed for such a process to work, I think it could better communicate it’s function with students.

Students are the university’s largest stakeholders and as such, they should be reached out to more. NIU could be more active through social media campaigns.

I was disappointed to see no students on either task forces. Realistically, not all students can commit to a serious workload while also juggling a full course load, but there are some out there that are serious about improving the university for the better.

On the other hand, I feel that student participation is also a strong point for the process. At a glance, the program prioritization website points out multiple areas where students can help, which is the saving grace from a failing grade.