FS concerns addressed

By Brian Slupski

Taking money out of programs that are not needed, and putting it into programs that are needed, might help generate revenue for NIU’s suffering budget.

The Academic Resource Advisory Committee met Thursday and addressed concerns which were raised by the Faculty Senate.

Theatre Arts Professor Joanne Fox said the senate expressed concerns about committee consultation with the senate and a May 17 deadline for the committee to conclude its business.

The committee is attempting to generate a pool of $3.8 million for reallocation. The money will be generated by activities or programs that colleges feel could be reduced, consolidated or eliminated. These decisions are to be based on the quality of the program or activity and how it relates to the centrality of NIU’s mission.

Colleges must place enough activities or programs into this category to generate 5 percent of their fiscal budget. The $3.8 million pool then will be reallocated to programs the colleges would like to maintain, develop or improve.

Fox said because of the May 17 deadline, “Faculty are afraid they will go away for the summer, come back and find their departments are gone.”

English Professor Jim Giles said the faculty thinks the reallocation will be immediate, when it actually will take place over a three-year period.

Giles said, “With the natural suspicion of the faculty, when they heard the deadline, they immediately thought it was planned for the summer.

“I’m afraid that any proposal this committee makes, no matter how good, will be rejected,” Giles said.

NIU Provost Kendall Baker said the reason for the deadline is that fiscal year 1993 begins in July, and if the process is not started by July, a year of implementation will be lost.

Baker said if NIU has to wait a year, the university could find itself having arbitrary outside forces pressuring the university to produce this kind of process.

He said the committee was set up with the centrality issue of NIU and shared governance in mind. He said the committee was “not starting from ground zero” and “was utilizing processes already in place.”

He said the process is taking place “so that NIU will have some control over its own destiny.”

Baker then addressed the consultation issue saying he was going to talk to other groups within the university and was more than willing to go before the senate and present any proposal which comes out of committee.

Art Professor Gordon Dorn said the senate could convene an emergency summer session where the committees’ proposals could be discussed.