Vice president announces cuts

By Sean McClellan

NIU’s athletic department soon will be standing on its own.

Eddie Williams, vice president of Finance and Planning, announced NIU President John La Tourette’s five-year plan to completely phase out the athletic department’s appropriated funds.

Williams read a memorandum at the first Faculty Senate meeting Wednesday issued by La Tourette that morning. According to the letter, the plan will “enhance non-appropriated revenue sources with the elimination of all revenue funds.”

Appropriated funds come from the state, while the department’s remaining budget of about $2.3 million comes from ticket sales, donations, tuition and student fees.

“The total allocation of incoming funds will be totally phased out,” Williams said.

All savings built up through the plan will be turned over to academic divisions, he added.

The step-by-step plan involves a $500,000 minimum reduction in the department’s funds from fiscal year 1993’s budget to FY 1994’s budget. The plan also calls for a minimum reduction of $300,000 in athletic’s FY 1995 base budget.

According to the memorandum, athletic’s base budget will face a reduction of 40 percent from FY 1991 to FY 1995. This percentage is larger than any other division reductions at NIU.

However, all reductions will be “inclusive” of faculty raises and “exclusive” of student fees.

“There can be no business as usual,” La Tourette wrote in the memorandum. “There is no need to devastate, self-construe or shortchange our students.”

Bob Lane, professor of Operations, Management and Information Systems, said all cuts in athletic funds come from the same source.

“Whether you call it general revenue or something else, it all comes out of the same pot,” he said.

However, Williams said the plan to get athletics to stand on its own has been in the works for eight years.

“This is not just something pulled out of the hat,” Williams said.

Also at the meeting, Provost J. Carroll Moody updated FS members about the Illinois Board of Higher Education’s “hit list.”

IBHE’s hypothetical list of programs, which could be eliminated or scaled down at NIU and other state universities, caught slack from some FS members.

Some of the suggestions included in the IBHE’s list were the elimination of the English doctorate program, the reduction of the foreign languages’ undergraduate and master’s programs and the elimination of geology’s M.S. and Ph.D. departments.

Theatre Arts Professor Joanne Fox said she was concerned the results from the Academic Resource Advisory Committee would get lost in the shuffle.

“I think it should be called war,” said Philosophy Professor Sherman Stanage. “It will be a real bloody mess.”