BOT approves new school, removes program

By Felix Sarver

A new school was approved by the Board of Trustees (BOT) during its meeting Thursday.

The School of Public and Global Affairs will house the Political Science Department and Nongovernmental Organizations Leadership and Development Center. The school was created to foster interdisciplinary programs and collaborative relationships among students, staff and faculty. No new resources are needed to create the school, said NIU President John Peters. The school will be part of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

Christopher McCord, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences dean, said the school will not subsume the status of the departments under it.

“This an important innovation for us,” McCord said.

The BOT approved of the public administration program to become its own department. The public administration department will be housed within the School of Public and Global Affairs. The department was created because of it has a highly-ranked public administration program. None of the other top-ranking MPA programs at universities like the University of Chicago or Columbia University are located within a department.

While one program become a department, another program was deleted. The BOT approved of the deletion of the masters of physical therapy program within the College of Health and Human Sciences. According to the BOT agenda report, the physical therapy program had to transition to a doctor of physical therapy program to remain competitive.

The program was also deleted to maintain accreditation and permit graduates to apply for licensure for physical therapy, according to the BOT agenda report. The American Physical Therapy Association envisions physical therapy will be provided by physical therapists who are doctors of therapy by 2020. All of the students in the MPT program have graduated, according to the BOT report.

The Fiscal Year 2014 Mass Transit contract was approved by the BOT. The contract is for the Huskie bus system on campus, which is managed by the Student Association Mass Transit Board.

According to the BOT agenda report, the $4 million FY2014 contract represents a 4.8 percent decrease in costs from the previous fiscal year. The decrease in costs was due to the decreased route hours, the extension of the life of the buses to two years and the change to purchasing one new replacement bus per year instead of two.