Faculty, programs face possible cuts

By Brian Slupski

The College of Law went before the Academic Resources Advisory Committee Tuesday to propose cuts in the college which included faculty.

The various colleges of NIU will go before the committee and identify enough activities or programs for reduction to generate 5 percent of their fiscal year 1992 budget.

The committee intends to generate a pool of $3.8 million for reallocation of activities or programs NIU would like to enhance.

College of Law Dean James Alfini described the college as a “bare bones, no frills law school.”

Alfini said in previous budget cuts the college resorted to cuts in its library book budget.

In a written report, Alfini said the College of Law had no alternative but to turn to its “instructional program and offer to reduce the size of its faculty by 2-3 positions over the next three years through attrition.”

Attrition means that faculty who leave or retire either will not be replaced or be replaced with entry-level or part-time personnel.

Student Association President Preston Came asked whether it would be wise to reduce faculty and what the priority of the college was.

Alfini identified an academic support program for enhancement. In his report, Alfini stated the overall attrition rate for students in the law school is 10 percent, the figure for minorities is 40 percent.

The support program would be aimed at improving these retention rates. The estimated beginning cost of the program would be $80,000.

“No matter what we give up, it will cut into the bone. We would like to keep faculty, but the support program is very important,” Alfini said.

Law Professor Paula Johnson said the program would be designed to “recognize different people with different needs might need support beyond attending school.”

Alfini said that while the program is not limited to minorities, it would not be offered to all students.

NIU Provost Kendall Baker said it appeared that “ideally the College of Law would like to do is to retain faculty and add a support program.”

Baker said perhaps this goal was partially achievable depending on the value of the faculty which leave the college.

However, Came brought up the point that there already are support programs and counseling on campus.

Alfini said the effects of the loss of faculty would be a reduction in the range of courses offered, but that it would not delay students’ graduations.