New committees to address concerns

By Lesley Rogers

Three new committees were created by the Board of Regents on Thursday to look at minority concerns, affordability and the Regent’s self-study report.

A task force will be re-established by the Regents to look at Minority Concerns at the Regent universities, NIU, Illinois State University in Normal and Sangamon State University in Springfield.

“Minority concerns have been an interest of this board, minority concerns relating to staffing, relating to student access, and they are also a very significant concern at the state-level in the general assembly,” said Regents Chancellor Roderick Groves.

An Affordability Study Group also was established by the Regents to provide input, ideas and suggestions related to several high profile areas of policy consideration of the Board of Higher Education, Groves said.

The Illinois Board of Higher Education established a similar affordability committee and Groves said the issue of affordability must be discussed at the Regent’s level.

“There are some very important policy issues and the Board of Regents ought to address those issues itself, whether it takes the position on all of them or not is for future determination,” Groves said.

This committee is a way the Regents can systematically address those policies and generate new ideas and solutions with a unique perspective, he said.

“I want them to get started because the committee of the IBHE is already having meetings,” Groves said.

Because of controversy related to the hesitancy of the Regents to release a self-study report, the Regents also established an ad-hoc committee.

Groves said the committee was established to follow up on the study that was given visibility in October because the Lt. Governor and the media requested the study be made public.

The committee will look at the study, commissioned by the Regents to analyze their administrative operations at the system level and university level.

“The purpose of this committee is to follow up on that report, by not only reviewing and discussing for itself the findings and the suggestions that come forth from the consultant, but also get reactions from other people on campuses,” Groves said.

The report offers a number of suggestions, recommendations, and conclusions about cost saving measures within the Regents and the state educational system.

Groves said because of the high visibility the report has gained, he anticipates all the meetings will be open sessions.