Short-sighted ghosts

Once again NIU’s failure to plan has come back to haunt it.

NIU had been restricting enrollment in an attempt to decrease enrollment. In fact NIU’s acceptance rate was one of the lowest in the nation last year.

However, NIU was able to get its enrollment down, way down, in fact farther than the administrators wanted. NIU now says it was financially prepared for the tuition loss, but students still will have to pay in fee increases for all those organizations that depend on fees.

NIU has said it was prepared for the drop because of declining high school graduation rates. If this is the case, why was enrollment restricted at all? Why wasn’t enrollment allowed to drop naturally (which it did this year)?

This is only one example of NIU’s failure to plan and its inability to see past the tip of its nose.

A second example is NIU’s tuition situation. Last year NIU’s three-year tuition increase plan was condensed into a two-year plan. Now comes word that students may see another increase this year. Planning at NIU seems to consist of increasing financial liability, beyond the means of the university and then scrambling to somehow meet those needs.

The scrambling consists of running to the state legislature, crying insufficient support and then sadly hitting students up for more money.

Hopefully tuition will not increase this year. One ludicrous reason given for a possible increase is that the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana is increasing its tuition, therefore NIU must increase to stay competitive.

First of all, NIU had a much larger increase than U of I last year. Secondly, we’re just not competitive with U of I in terms of state support, enrollment, program offerings or academic reputation.

If NIU needs another tuition increase this year, its administrators will be admitting that the original three-year plan was flawed from the start and that they have an inability to plan in the long range. Since the time the three-year plan was first proposed state support has gone up. There is no reason NIU should be falling short now.