Committee discusses possible program split

By Brian Slupski

The Academic Resource Advisory Committee discussed a possible restructuring of the division of International and Special Programs at its Thursday meeting.

The committee has asked all colleges and divisions of the academic sphere of the university to identify 5 percent of their FY 1992 budget for reallocation.

Acting Dean of ISP Sharon Howard said the division is in a transition stage and that as a temporary dean she did not feel she could make the kinds of recommendations the committee was looking for.

NIU Provost Kendall Baker said a task force had been created “to evaluate and make recommendations about ways in which the division could be restructured or refocused.”

The task force supplied Baker with a report that suggested International and Special Programs be split.

“The report suggested placing special programs under the office of the provost, while placing international programs in a separate unit,” Baker said.

Baker said that having talked to various university groups that there is a consensus that splitting the units would be good. However, there has been dissent voiced from the directors of the units who feel the division should not be split.

The report also suggested making units which offer academic programs, like the Center for Black Studies, into colleges.

Baker said it was made clear to him that attempting to shift the Center for Black Studies into a college had been attempted before and that the move was challenged.

“It was made clear to me that people felt this recommendation would stir up a battle which had already been fought, and they questioned whether it was wise to fight it again,” Baker said.

Baker said the report suggested placing the vocational, technical, and career areas under the College of Education.

The final recommendation the task force made was for the establishment of a Dean of International Programs.

Baker said the report listed many reasons for the creation of the dean position.

He said because the program is heavily engaged in international relations, titles can be important and beneficial to programs.

Baker said there was not strong support for the creation of the position in the university community. “Folks are not convinced that this would be a wise expenditure,” Baker said.

Baker said he wanted “to emphasize that these changes are not written in stone” and that he was going to seek input from the Faculty Senate.