BOR to discuss bonds

By Ken Goze

Job duplication and bond refinancing for NIU are some of the long-standing issues expected to come to a head at Thursday’s Board of Regents meeting at NIU.

The Regents Personnnel and Operations committee will discuss a report on the number of positions duplicated between the Chancellor’s Office and three regency schools in its Wednesday meeting at the Holmes Student Center.

The reports are the latest follow-up to concerns of job duplication that were raised by Regent Joe Ebbesen last May. Ebbesen, who had requested the report in December, declined to comment on the report until after the meeting.

However, Ebbesen previously said earlier replies to requests were inadequate. Regents Chancellor Roderick Groves was unavailable for comment.

The board also is set to take action on refinancing of NIU’s bonds to kick up extra money. The plan has moved fitully since December, as officials nervously watch the bond market for dropping rates and fear possible upturns in interest rates.

Eddie Williams, vice president for Finance and Planning, previously said NIU’s current bonds are financed at about 10 percent, and hopes to refinance them between 5 and 7 percent.

Williams agressively pushed for approval in December but then postponed the effort, saying NIU needed more time to work out details and wait for a better rate. Williams was unavailable for comment Monday.

Money generated by refinancing will be used for projects such as a new parking structure and the proposed Student Life Center.

Other items on the agenda include a report on spring enrollment and state tuition waivers for university employees.

The board also faces a protest planned by the Student Association. SA officials said they hope to fill the halls with people and block the Pheasant Room during lunch to protest shrinking course offerings and pending tuition hikes.