IBHE productivity process addressed

By Eric Krol and Jerry Lawrence

Representatives from state public universities addressed the Illinois Board of Higher Education (IBHE) productivity process Tuesday, with Illinois State University receiving a verbal rebuke.

The IBHE, meeting at the College of Lake County, heard from representatives of the 12 state public universities on the controversial Priorities, Quality and Productivity (PQP) initiative. PQP is an IBHE process which is attempting to streamline state higher education by cutting unproductive programs.

After hearing from the representatives, IBHE Chairman Arthur Quern opened the floor for comments from the board members.

IBHE member Rey Brune said, “I think it is extremely encouraging to me that 11 of our 12 universities have spoken so positively (on PQP).

“I am very disappointed that the 12th feels it is in confrontation,” Brune said.

Although NIU President John La Tourette said he did not know who the 12th school was, sources indicated the school was ISU. ISU is NIU’s sister school under the Board of Regents.

ISU President Thomas Wallace has been vocal in his opposition to the PQP process. Some critics have labelled PQP a political process, while other university officials have bemoaned the lack of time to prepare PQP reports.

Board of Governors Chancellor Thomas Layzell addressed the IBHE first. “(PQP) is the right initiative at the right time,” he said.

Layzell outlined the productivity efforts of the five BOG universities. Layzell’s report stated that the BOG schools have reallocated nearly $7 million total in Fiscal Year 1993.

He also addressed the “It will not be enough to simply say ‘you can keep the proceeds of your reinvestment’,” he said.

James M. Brown, chancellor of the Southern Illinois University system, said the two SIU campuses have reallocated about $12 million.

Mitch Vogel, president of faculty union of the University Professionals of Illinois, gave a biting address to the IBHE. “For too long we have seen our public universities crippled by a lack of funding, a lack of common sense in the expense of administrative areas and the increase of welfare programs in private colleges.”

Vogel also said the UPI will be holding hearings on each of the 12 public universities to gather input on the PQP process.

No dates or times were given.