Issues addressed during summer

By Peter Schuh

It’s been a busy summer for the students, faculty, and staff who chose to remain at NIU.

Important issues have arisen and been decided in the last three months which affect not only NIU’s students, faculty and administration, but also the DeKalb community.

Campus Headlines

‘A plan set in motion by Lt. Gov. Bob Kustra to eliminate the Board of Regents and give NIU its own governing board fell under Democratic pressure in the state House of Representatives. Although the plan to reorganize Illinois higher education’s governance system passed the Republican-controlled Senate, its failure to move through the House means NIU will continue to operate under the guiding hands of the Regents.

‘The Illinois Board of Higher Education has redirected its Priorities, Quality and Productivity initiative. For the next year it will be focusing on streamlining the state’s 12 public universities’ administrative functions and support services. The IBHE’s goal is an eight to ten percent reallocation of funds in the areas of administration and support.

‘The IBHE’s PQP initiative has begun to take its toll on NIU’s academic programs. During the Board of Regent’s July 22 meeting, four NIU academic programs were recommended for elimination. A recommendation made by NIU to eliminate the Ed.D. in business education, two major programs in music and the M.A. in library and information studies was endorsed by the Regents. The Regents also encouraged NIU to move forward with steps to either eliminate or consolidate the remaining NIU programs cited by the PQP initiative.

‘Also during its July 22 meeting, the Regents put a five percent cap on faculty raises, a 5.5 percent maximum increase for state-funded activities and a 4.5 percent cap on student fees and room and board increases. Regents Chancellor Roderick Groves also said NIU would be seeing no additional tuition increases in the near future.

‘NIU faculty will see a five percent increase in salaries, but the increase will not be an across the board distribution. Instead, the increase will be based on merit. The five percent increase this year will give NIU faculty a 12 percent overall increase over a two year period.

‘A new University Council Executive Secretary was elected to replace UC Executive Secretary Norman Magden after he announced his departure from NIU to head up the art department at the University of Tennessee in Knoxsville. Curtiss Behrens, associate professor of management will take up the position of UC Executive Secretary. In addition, he will replace Magden as Faculty Senate President.

‘A permanent library director will replace Acting Director Ronald Provencher after a five-month national search. Arthur Young, the present director of the Thomas Cooper Library at the University of South Carolina has been selected for the position.

‘Construction on Lucinda Avenue is in full swing. The road is limited to westbound traffic only. The project involves the widening of the road and the installation of a landscaped median, traffic lights and turn lanes.

City Headlines

‘On the morning of May 21 the lives of an NIU graduate and an Aurora resident were claimed by trains in unrelated incidents. Robert L. Morgan, of DeKalb, was pronounced dead at 4:35 a.m. at the scene after he was struck by an eastbound Chicago Northwestern freight train a half mile east of Annie Glidden Road. Stephen R. Nelson, of Aurora, was pronounced dead at 12:30 a.m. at the scene after he was struck by a westbound Chicago Northwestern freight train west of the Annie Glidden overpass.

‘Ronald Morris Levine, a student at NIU, died on May 24 of carbon monoxide poisoning when flames engulfed his boarding house on Harrison Street in DeKalb. The fire began when a charcoal grill was left smoldering in the house’s indoor porch. Levine woke up in time to call 911 and report the fire but was unable to escape the house.

‘Two men were arrested June 12 as the result of a two-year investigation by the North Central Narcotics Task Force. Kerry Douglas “Doug” West and Terry H. Spencer, both of DeKalb, were arrested while driving a vehicle containing approximately 249 grams of cannabis. West has been labeled as a major drug dealer in the DeKalb area.

‘On the morning of June 21 a third victim’s life was claimed on the railroad tracks which run alongside Annie Glidden Road. Jamison Urso, last known address DeKalb, was pronounced dead at 5:05 a.m. at the scene after being struck by an eastbound Northwestern freight train at the Nelson Road crossing.

‘The death of a 19-year-old DeKalb resident in a traffic accident on June 11 led to a two-week shut down of McCabe’s Lounge in DeKalb. Stacey Krusbe was killed when her car rolled over at about 2:47 a.m. one mile west of N. First Street on Route 64. Krusbe allegedly was allowed to enter the bar and obtain and consume alcohol. The penalty for McCabe’s was decided at a July 28 public hearing by DeKalb Liquor Commissioner Greg Sparrow.

‘Paradise Club, located in DeKalb, had its liquor license suspended for one week for allowing a 15-year-old to enter and remain in the bar. She was discovered by a routine ID check made by DeKalb Police.

Other Headlines

‘Joseph Novi, a member of the NIU soccer team and the NIU chapter of Phi Sigma Kappa, was beaten to death on May 27 in his home town of Addison. The incident apparently followed an argument Novi had with Vincent DiVincenzo, Jr., also of Addison, about a woman Novi had dated three years ago. DiVincenzo turned himself into police a short time later. He was arrested and charged with first degree murder.