Psychology prepares defense for PQP attack

By Brian Slupski

NIU’s psychology department is preparing a defense for its doctoral program which is on the Illinois Board of Higher Education staff’s chopping block.

The program has been recommended for elimination as part of the IBHE’s Priorities, Quality and Productivity (PQP) initiative.

The initiative is aimed at streamlining public higher education through the elimination of academic programs. To date, 190 programs have been recommended for elimination across the

state, including 15 at NIU.

Psychology Department Chair Frederick Schwantes said the department is compiling and supplying data to Provost J. Carroll Moody and the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

Schwantes said he has a different interpretation of some of the DAta used by the IBHE staff in justifying the recommended cut.

As an example, Schwantes said the IBHE staff said NIU ranked 75 out of 150 doctoral programs across the nation.

However, Schwantes points out the study only examined the top 150 programs in the country, when there are actually 300 total programs in the nation. This means NIU actually ranked 75 out of 300, or in the top 25 percent.

Schwantes said the department is contacting service agencies in the northern region of the state which have employed NIU students pursuing degrees in the program.

The department is asking the agencies to contact the IBHE and tell them the amount of service the program provides in the region, he said.

NIU President John La Tourette said the program provides much service to the northern region of the state by turning out

teachers and practitioners of psychology.

“Sitting down in Springfield, a considerable distance from the program, it’s hard to understand the program and the service it provides to the region,” La Tourette said.

The psychology department, in appreciation for La Tourette’s continued support of the program, presented him with a hat which read, “Preserve Quality at low cost, save Psychology’s Ph.D.”