NIU programs plead cases

By Peter Schuh

Five of NIU’s education-related programs pleaded their cases before the Academic Planning Council Monday amidst council-member concerns regarding the purpose of APC reviews.

The programs fell among those targeted in either NIU’s 1992 Productivity Report or the Illinois Board of Higher Education’s hit list of programs recommended for consolidation or elimination. The APC’s review is part of its ongoing responsibility to review NIU programs and its temporary mission to evaluate programs cited by the IBHE.

NIU’s report recommended the Department of Human and Family Resources drop its bachelor of science in home economics education but keep the program’s option for teacher certification available to its other majors.

Mary Pritchard, acting chair of the department, recommended the change as a possible course of action for the university.

“We think it’s realistic because of the data given,” she said. “There might, in fact, be some advantages to doing that.”

Similarly, Technology Department Chair Dennis Stoia consented to the elimination of the department’s bachelor of science in education but requested the program be allowed to retain the right to certify technology teachers.

He said the removal of the program would not affect any faculty members and “by doing this I still can’t save you anything but a page in the student catalog.”

Betty Schroeder, associate professor of Business Management, argued for NIU to retain the master’s in education program in Business Education. She said the IBHE had not correctly viewed the number of part-time students enrolled in the program while employed near Chicago when targeting it.

“We’re the only public university in the region to offer this,” she said.

In addition, the College of Education consented to the reduction of elementary education enrollments and the APC approved an IBHE recommendation to consolidate off-campus sites for education programs.

During the meeting, several APC members voiced their concern over the actual mission of the APC in regard to its reviews of the targeted programs.

“The purpose of this committee is to be doing these reviews,” said NIU Provost J. Carroll Moody. “I would hope, in the end, the APC would exercise its responsibility given by the University Constitution with a discussion or even a hard vote about what to do.”