Budget cuts cause move

By Chelsea Irving

The NIU music department is losing an instructor this summer due in part to budget problems.

After spending six years as coordinator of jazz studies, Assistant Professor of Music Antonio Garcia will be leaving NIU at the end of the summer to become an associate professor of music at Northwestern University in Evanston.

Garcia said he has mixed emotions about leaving, but “it became apparent in the spring that the (music department’s) financial stability was becoming so much of an issue that I had to explore my options,” he said.

He said the program support is stronger at a private institution, such as Northwestern.

As associate professor of music at Northwestern, Garcia’s duties will be split between the jazz program and the integrated arts program, which is a creativity program for non-music majors.

Garcia was a freelance musician in New Orleans before he came to NIU in 1987, the first year of the undergraduate jazz emphasis major here.

In 1992 Garcia won the student-nominated Excellence in Teaching Award. He also was nominated by faculty members for the 1992 Council for the Advancement and Support of Education Award.

In June Garcia worked for the NIU Jazz Camp for high school students. For the remainder of the summer, he will be working with his successors until his resignation becomes effective Aug. 16.

Music Department Chairman Harold Kafer said someone will be hired on a temporary basis to cover Garcia’s fall classes while the music department searches for a permanent replacement.

“I greatly enjoyed my stay at Northern,” Garcia said. “It offered me many challenges, a great deal of satisfaction and certainly many friendships.”

Garcia’s departure follows Art Professor Norman Magden’s departure for the University of Tennessee in Knoxville.

However, Magden said his decision to leave was not fueled by NIU’s budget problems, but by a desire to move into the administrative area.

Garcia’s resignation comes at a time when NIU is trying to make faculty salaries more competitive. NIU President John La Tourette has said NIU would like to reallocate a 2.5 to 5 percent raise for faculty.