NIU sees turnover of officials



NIU’s administrative line-up has seen several losses in membership the past two years, and even though other positions have only tentative assignments, officials say they are confident NIU’s administration can still play ball.

Norman Magden, former NIU art professor, University Council executive secretary and Faculty Senate president, is the latest official to slip through NIU’s fingers. He accepted a job offer this summer to become the art department chair at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville.

Other recent NIU administrative losses include former College of Business Dean Richard Brown, NIU Provost Kendall Baker, Associate Provost Lou Jean Moyer, Tom Montiegel, vice president of development and university relations, Assistant for Government Relations Ken Beasley, and NIU Libraries Director Peggy Sullivan.

Acting NIU Provost J. Caroll Moody said he is uncertain if the mass exodus of administrators could be considered unusual.

“You can go for several years without having any administrative turnover so that when you finally do have a period of a few years it can look pretty bad,” he said.

Moody did admit the situation presents certain problems.”It’s not always good for the institution when there’s lots of turnover.

“On the one hand, the university does get the opportunity to bring in some new people with fresh ideas and perspectives on things, but you often lose very good people who are major contributors to the institution,” he said.

Another problem involved in the loss of a high-ranking official is that the university must appoint a temporary replacement and spend energy searching for a permanent replacement.

Search committees are out to fill the positions of vice president and provost and the College of Business dean, which are temporarily held by Moody and Acting Dean of Business David Graf.

A possible on-the-out-list includes James Norris, dean of the college of liberal arts and science, and Stanley Madeja, dean of the College of Visual and Performing Arts. Both deans reach the end of their terms at the end of this academic year.

Although Norris would not comment on the possibility of his departure from NIU, he said NIU has been left “in good hands.”

Norris said NIU’s newer administrators have shown their ability in their reaction to the Illinois Board of Higher Education’s Priorities, Quality and Productivity initiative.

He said he agreed with NIU President John La Tourette that last year was one of the best for the administration.

Norris said the amount of administrators filtering through positions at NIU is not unusual.

“I think you need to keep two things in mind,” he said. “Normally, people go into administration late in their career. Also, the nationwide average for how long an administrative position is held is only a few years. The average for my job as dean is only three years.”

Moody said if there were actually a trend toward the loss of administrators it would not be limited to NIU.

“It’s a fact of life that many faculty who were hired in the late 50s and early 60s are looking to retire from the university,” he said.

Brown, Beasley, Sullivan and Moyer all officially retired from NIU. However, all but Moyer have found other university jobs.

Moody also commented on his “acting” status as NIU provost.

“I don’t recall someone who served as acting provost for more than one year, but I think it has been an unusual circumstance since NIU became heavily involved in the PQP initiative.

“I think it was the president’s position that we have some continuity as we go through the process of addressing PQP,” Moody said.