Follow the manual, NIU

NIU’s administration doesn’t seem to be practicing what it preaches.

Its response to the Illinois Board of Higher Education’s recommendations for program cuts has left several faculty members scratching their heads wondering whether to accept the Academic Procedures Manual as set in stone or jello.

At a time when NIU should have its act together to face budget woes and defend academic programs, one would think a united and unconfused front would be the best defense.

But instead NIU’s faculty and administration seem to be on separate wavelengths, perplexed about what path to follow. The Academic Planning Council prioritized programs that were tagged by the IBHE, and programs with low ratings will be recommended by NIU for consolidation or elimination to the Board of Regents at next week’s meeting.

However, the manual calls for approval by the department, college and appropriate university committee and councils before a recommendation requiring Board of Regents approval can be made.

NIU’s administration will not be able to obtain this approval until after the Regents approve the proposed eliminations. What good will it be then?

Not only has the administration failed to follow its own guidelines, Provost J. Caroll Moody calls the manual unreliable because additions have been made by unknown individuals and committees. What—did someone sneak in and change the manual while Moody wasn’t looking?

Even College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Dean James Norris admits it does not follow the procedure outlined in the manual.

This episode just shows the inefficiency and bureaucracy that are present at NIU. If NIU is going to be a respectable educational institution, then it needs to get its act together in all facets.

If no one is going to follow the manual, then save some trees, NIU.