Library and information studies begins phase out

By Matt Gronlund

The NIU department of library and information Studies has begun the process of phasing out this fall semester.

The department, one of only 50 accredited by the American Library Association (ALA), is slowly but surely being eliminated from NIU’s program.

At the end of March, it was decided that the department would be phased out after demands, made by the ALA’s Committee for Accredation, to provide various enhancements for the department could not be met.

Dean of Professional Studies James Lankford said efforts have been made to try and save the program, but to no avail.

“We met again in June with the ALA representatives but did not resolve anything,” he said. “So the university is continuing on with the phase out process.”

Lankford said faculty are trying to help the almost 200 students now enrolled in the department to graduate on time.

“We’re working carefully with students to arrange their courses and to help them graduate by May 1994,” he said. “May, 1994, is the official end of the phasing out process.”

Cosette Kies, chair of the department of library sciences, aid the only option students have if they do not graduate by that time is attending another school, which might not be that easy.

“If students in the program cannot graduate by ‘94 they’ll have to attend another institution,” she said. The closest accredited school to NIU, she said, is Rosary College, in River Forest, IL.

“Rosary is a private school and more expensive, so students would have to pay a lot more,” Kies said.

“Most of the students have accepted it and are just working to graduate on time,” Kies said. “It will be difficult for some.”

Faculty members are also being affected by the phase out. There are four tenured faculty members within the department. “The (NIU) president (John La Tourette) has made a commitment to keep the tenured faculty at NIU,” Lankford said. “They will, of course, have to be relocated.”

Kies, one of the four tenured members, said current negotiations are strictly confidential.

“We will develop our own plans and then negotiations (with NIU) will take place. It’s very confidential at this point.”