Reich speaks out agains bureaucracy in education

By Eric Krol

Democratic congressional candidate Jonathan Reich spoke out against the bureaucracy of higher education at a Monday press conference.

Reich, who is opposing incumbent Dennis Hastert for the local house congressional seat in the Nov. 3 election, addressed a small gathering behind Swen Parson Hall yesterday afternoon.

Reich called for the elimination of the higher education bureaucracy. In an interview with The Northern Star, Reich said the state should eliminate NIU’s governing board, the Board of Regents, the Board of Governors and the Illinois Board of Higher Education.

Reich said the system of higher education governance is mired in bureaucracy and is wasteful. He said that as a taxpayer, this troubles him.

However, if the current system of higher education governance is abolished, a substitute would have to be constructed. “Sure, you’d have to substitute some form of governance,” Reich said. “There has to be some form of accountability.”

Reich said a new plan would be simple. “Each university should have its own governing board,” he said. “You could have a combination of appointed and elected members.”

Reich said for the most part, universities govern themselves and have their proposals rubber-stamped by the state

Some have said the IBHE is a successful lobbying tool for state higher education, but Reich said the universities are capable of doing their own lobbying. “Why should we be paying to have more lobbyists?” he said.

He also suggested setting up advisory committees and having university presidents meet as a way of avoiding the bureaucratic elements.