Regent attacks plan

Joe Eben’s continued his disastrous career as the worst member of the Board of Regents Wednesday when he attempted to shoot down the plan to expand the Recreation Center, and pitched a completely asinine plan for the construction of a sports arena.

The arena plan he proposed would cost students about a $100 fee increase. NIU President John La Tourette wisely noted that students were fed up with the increasing cost of education, especially with the large tuition increase they have endured recently.

Ebbesen, however, with his visionary perspective, continued to pitch the plan, failing to recognize the fact that students are strapped financially and support the rec expansion plan (which by the way is about ten times cheaper than the arena idea). Ebbesen also failed to acknowledge the Illinois Board of Higher Education which is scrutinizing university spending. In fact the IBHE is going to hold hearings on the affordability of higher education. Yes this does seem like the time to construct something that is completely unneeded, while charging it to the students.

Ebbesen seems to think that he has acquired some kind of godly knowledge which places his opinions above everyone else. While other people think the affordable rec plan is a good idea, Joe Ebbesen can only see the one option everyone else misses—A SPORTS ARENA.

The troubling aspect of Ebbesen’s plan is that it is the latest in a series of personal fiascos.

At the Oct. 22, 1992 Regents meeting, Ebbesen opposed NIU’s purchase of a building it had been paying rent on for ten years. The building cost $950,000, and saved NIU $50,000 a year. Ebbesen supported an idea to build an entirely new building which would have cost NIU $3.5 to $4 million.

At the Dec. 4, 1992 Regents’ meeting, Ebbesen voted against NIU’s planned parking structure because he is a DeKalb resident and the plan would cause “terrible traffic situations.” He’s right, the last thing NIU has is a parking problem.

At a Feb. 25 Illinois Senate Education Committee meeting on the elimination of the Board of Regents, Ebbesen supported the abolition of the very board he is an unproductive member of.

In an April 29 story in The Northern Star, it was reported that Regent Ebbesen had attended less than half of the previous 11 Regent meetings. Ebbesen had also missed the last three meetings in a row, including one in DeKalb. While he could not attend a meeting of the Regents in his home town, he was able to travel to Chicago Feb. 25 and testify against the Regents.

Joe Ebbesen has chronically opposed projects which would benefit NIU, while illogically supporting the least prudent and most expensive options. He has missed far too many meetings of the Regents, and when he has been able to go, he has been unproductive, supporting half-baked ideas. He also has ruined his credibility and influence on the board through his support of its abolition and his excessive absenteeism. For these reasons, Ebbesen has proved himself an ineffective Regent and a detriment to the entire board.