Committee to review policy about bringing select guests to classes

By Andrea Azzo

University Council voted to send a policy about classroom guests back to the Academic Policy Committee Wednesday.

The proposed policy requires that guests who go into classrooms, like supervisors or security personnel, must receive permission from the instructor to do so. The policy was unclear in its wording, said physics professor Sue Willis.

Provost Ray Alden said the Americans with Disabilities Act accommodates for guests such as service dogs or sign interpreters. Federal law protects these individuals from receiving permission.

Accountancy associate professor Rebecca Shortridge said the committee believes its supervisors should be able to enter the classroom without the approval of the faculty.

However, Willis said guests like supervisors should be required to receive the instructor’s permission.

“There may be sensitive issues that are discussed in the classroom that affect students’ privacy,” she said.

Ultimately, the council voted to send it back to the Academic Policy Committee for review.

The University Council also voted to send proposed amendments to Article 9.2 of NIU’s constitution back to the Faculty Senate.

The proposed amendment states, “the university may make specific provisions to promote affirmative action.” Members of the University Council voted the wording be changed because the amendment later says NIU will “comply with… affirmative action.” There was discussion regarding the difference of the words “promote” and “comply.”

President John Peters was not present at the meeting because he was in Springfield to talk to state legislators about Senate Bill 512, which affects the pension of university employees.

University Council will meet again at 3 p.m. Nov. 30 in the Sky Room of the Holmes Student Center.