NIU reports increase in outside funding

By Mark Mazzone

The amount of NIU’s outside funding brought in during fiscal year 1992 nearly tipped the scales.

For the ninth consecutive year, the Office of Sponsored Projects has reported an increase in the amount of money attained from outside sources.

These funds are used mainly for research, public service, and instructional purposes.

Sponsored Projects Director Linda Schwarz said the faculty’s hard work brought in the funds.

“We have some excellent, active faculty,” she said. “They are working very hard to bring in outside dollars.”

Funds increased by 4.4 percent in FY 92, adding up to a total of about $16.9 million.

Federal funding showed the most dramatic increase of $1.24 million. Corporate awards also increased by about $200,000, while state funding fell by nearly $500,000.

The increase of federal funding seems to be a trend.

Federal funding at the University of Illinois, Champaign, increased by 12.5 percent. UIC’s federal contributions also rose by 24 percent.

“I think that last year (FY 91) the federal money dried up faster,” Schwarz said. “It’s a factor of whatever happens to come in.”

The bulk of NIU’s funding comes in the form of grants and contracts, but NIU prefers to work with grants.

“Grants allow more flexibility,” Schwarz said.

“The rules and regulations that grants are guided by are not as numerous and as firm as those with contracts.”

The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences received the most outside funding with about eight million dollars—an increase of $6.9 million from FY 91.

Continuing Education and Professional Studies ranked second and third with $2.8 and $2 million respectively.

The Office of Applied Innovations had the greatest increase, expanding its budget by more than 4,500 percent over last year.

The department of industrial engineering showed the second largest gain at 300 percent.

However, outside funding in the department of international and special programs decreased by 91 percent.

“I don’t know what the situation is going to be for next year,” Schwarz said.

“There seems to be fewer dollars available at the state level.”

The federal Department of Education was the biggest contributor to NIU, kicking in about three and two-thirds million dollars.

The National Science Foundation was next, with 1.4 million.