Changes made to teacher evaluations, Peters discusses cuts in budget

By Jessica Sabbah

DeKALB | The University Council voted to approve a common question to be included in all teacher evaluations campus wide Wednesday afternoon.

Pat Henry, chair of the Academic Policy Committee, presented the proposed question, which aimed to address the overall effectiveness of the instructor.

“It seems like this is broad enough to be able to be used in all situations given that it certainly won’t be the only way of evaluation courses,” Henry said.

Several council members were concerned by the vagueness of the proposed question of “My overall rating of the instructor’s effectiveness of the instructor’s effectiveness is.”

After discussion, the proposed question was amended to include “in meeting the course’s stated goals and objectives,” followed by a five point scale ranging from outstanding to inadequate.

As stated, the question must be included in all evaluation forms, written and electronic, normally at the end of the evaluation.

President John Peters also gave an update on the state budget situation.

Peters said to consider the fact that NIU is in the 10th month of the fiscal year and the university would have received about $80 million from the state.

“We’re at $35 million, and we are owed $60 [million], and we have two months left,” Peters said. “So needless to say, it’s getting tense for us to meet payroll.”

Peters said the university has not received a reimbursement check in about two weeks.

Peters said he and a group of individuals represented NIU while visiting most of the state’s leaders, the Lt. Gov. Sheila Simon and local representatives in Springfield last week.

Peters said while at the capitol he and others detected new developments in the way this year’s state budget was being built which could change the outlook on how much NIU will receive from the state.

The governor had proposed a flat operating budget as of last year for NIU. Peters said, however, with these developments it looks like NIU is going to get a budget cut.

Peters said he went over the situation with the senior cabinet members on Monday and asked them to only spend when necessary. He also asked the vice presidents to seriously consider ways to reduce base budgets.

“I don’t see how we’re going to escape without a permanent budget reduction next year and because we’re so thin in every aspect that we do, there are no easy cuts,” Peters said. “I suppose everything has to be on the table this year.”

Peters also addressed the off-campus shooting that occurred early Wednesday morning in the Hillcrest Drive and Aspen Court area. Devon Butler, an NIU student and football player, was critically injured in result of the shooting.

Peters said he spoke with Butler’s uncle and extended the NIU community’s thoughts and prayers to Devon and the Butler family.