IBHE moratorium could mean no new program for College of Business

By Peter Schuh

The College of Business has worked to add a B.S. in Business Administration to its curriculum for the last two years.

The Illinois Board of Higher Education is considering a moratorium on new programs—this could mean no new program for business.

During last week’s legislative hearing on higher education, IBHE Executive Director Richard Wagner announced the IBHE is “seriously considering” a moratorium on new programs. Wagner said the moratorium could be enforced for up to two years. A moratorium would mean no new academic programs for public universities for the next two years.

Wagner said the moratorium would make universities concentrate on program cuts the IBHE has and will recommend through its Priorities, Quality and Productivity initiative. PQP is geared to streamline higher education.

The College of Business has concluded its PQP responsibilities and program reviews for this year. Wagner said the IBHE’s recommended cuts for 1993, to be issued in November, will contain “very few new programs.”

Therefore, for the IBHE to prevent a college like business from creating a new program in order to direct the college’s attention to PQP, seems to be a moot point since business will probably have few other PQP responsibilities.

In an interview last week, NIU President John La Tourette said he felt a moratorium on all new programs is a bad idea.

One reason for this, he explained, is because “there could be a program in one college that needs restructuring and a new program in another college. I don’t see there is any conflict in pursuing those actions simultaneously.”

This hypothetical case loosely sums up the situation the College of Business has found itself in.

Daniel Wunsch, chair of the department of management, which hopes to house the new program, said, “Our time line was that it would go through the university this academic year.

“If the university approved it, we’d be taking the program to the IBHE at the end of spring semester or in the summer. If the IBHE is considering a moratorium, this would come right in conflict with it,” he said.

The program has been approved by both the department and the college and has already taken one trip to the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee. Wunsch said the program has been altered to meet some concerns expressed by the committee and will be reviewed next month for approval.

Business Dean David Graf said the program, which gives a higher emphasis to the liberal arts and sciences side of business, has been requested by department and college faculty and the professional community.

“While it will never be a very big program, there has been growing interest in a liberal education for business,” he said. “I can’t stifle a program that’s been requested by the business community.

“I feel strongly about this program and will see it go through,” he added.

If a moratorium was put in place, Wunsch said that would not stop him from submitting a new program request to the IBHE.

“Whether there is a moratorium or not is not going to change our plans or thinking on anything,” he said. “If the IBHE wants to follow its responsibility as a manager, it ought to review the new programs the way it is supposed to.”

“While it will never be a very big program, there has been growing interest in a liberal education for business. I can’t stifle a program that’s been requested by the business community.