Administrators endorse priorities

By Peter Schuh

Several NIU administrative heads have endorsed the recommendations made by the Academic Planning Council concerning program priority.

During its Monday meeting, the APC prioritized those programs cited by the Illinois Board of Higher Education’s “hit list” and NIU’s 1992 Productivity Report in regard to their importance to NIU’s academic mission. The programs were listed in categories of high, middle and low priority.

NIU Provost J. Carroll Moody commented on how the APC’s recommendation would be treated by the NIU administration.

“We will certainly give great attention to what we have on this report (of the APC recommendations),” he said. “At a certain point, I anticipate we will have an opportunity to discuss this report with the IBHE staff.”

In regard to negotiations with the IBHE, Moody added, “It appears to me that the position which the APC has taken in ranking these programs will allow some latitude in negotiations.”

Several NIU college deans have given their approval not only to the APC’s recommendation, but to the APC members and the several months they spent in program reviews necessary to make the recommendation.

“I was particularly pleased with the deliberations of the Academic Planning Council,” said James Alfini, dean of the College of Law. “I think the APC took a very thoughtful and careful approach to what was a difficult task. I am very pleased with the way the APC handled its task.”

In regard to the College of Law, which had been cited for elimination by the IBHE, Alfini said, “I’m very pleased that they put the College of Law in the highest priority category.”

In regard to how this decision would affect the future of the college, he said, “I think if the university makes a decision like this, it (the college of law) should remain with the university. Whether it (the APC’s decision) makes the difference or not, I don’t know—this is Illinois.”

James Norris, dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences said, “I’m pleased with the process.”

In regard to the prioritization of those programs which belong to LA&S, Norris said, “I’m not surprised with the results. If I were on the council I would have ranked the programs (for LA&S) in a very similar way.”

Norris added a congratulatory note to those faculty within LA&S in regard to meeting the demands of the APC’s program reviews.

“I am very proud of my college,” he said. “I think they took a very hard job and approached it in a very open way.”

Stanley Madeja, dean of the college of visual and performing arts, said, “Under very difficult circumstances, I think they (the APC) have done a wonderful job in the time they were given.”

In regard to the B.F.A. in art, which the APC voted to strike from the list of programs under consideration of consolidation or elimination, Madeja said, “I’m very pleased it was removed. It didn’t belong on the list in the first place.”

Charles Stegman, dean of the College of Education said, “In general, I feel fairly comfortable with the APC recommendation. They had a very difficult task to perform.”

Moody also explained what would become of programs recommended for elimination by the IBHE’s Priorities, Quality and Productivity initiative.

“I anticipate that any program that is recommended for elimination will go to the appropriate council,” he said. “If it is an undergraduate program it will go to the Undergraduate Council, and if it is a graduate program it will go to the Graduate Council. That is the way that programs, in the past, have been eliminated.”