Budget cuts to affect class sections offered

By Jami Peterson

As budget cuts crunch NIU, the number of class sections offered has not escaped the knife.

However, Provost Kendall Baker said he is pleased with the number of class sections NIU has been able to offer in spite of budget problems.

A total of 3,612 class sections were offered this fall, a decrease of 16 sections from 1990. However, the number of class sections offered this fall increased from 1989, when 3,459 sections were offered.

“The amount (of class sections) down from 1990 is not substantial,” Baker said. “When you consider a loss of $3.7 million in less than a year, (the decrease) is not that bad.”

He said NIU has attempted to keep budget slices as far away from academics as possible. “We, of course, have been trying to provide as many class sections as possible,” Baker said.

Wayne Albrecht, undergraduate dean for the College of Business, said because of budget cuts, the number of class sections for business will decrease to about 290 sections next fall.

“We’re at the limit,” he said. “We really can’t take any more kinds of budget cuts without drastic effects.”

He said he is concerned that the lack of sections will make it difficult for students to get the required general education classes they need to get into the business program.

Also affected by the budget cut were accountancy, legal areas and statistics. “We made the cuts where they hopefully will have the least impact on the students,” Albrecht said.

Charles Stegman, dean of the College of Education, said the College of Education will take some budget cuts next fall.

“Part will come out of personnel,” he said. “This will have an impact on the number of courses we can offer.”

He said budget cuts usually slice 90 to 95 percent of funds used in the personnel department. Other areas cut include travel, equipment and commodities, he said.

Although the number of sections offered next year probably will decrease, he said the college definitely will offer enough sections in required courses.

“We have made a commitment to trying to keep as many sections of required courses as possible to meet the needs of our students,” Stegman said. “All colleges are trying very hard to meet student demands.”

James Lankford, dean of the College of Professional Studies, said the number of sections offered in the college has remained fairly constant over the past few years.

“An increase of five over 1989 is not what I consider significant,” he said. “I think we’ll run about the same number (of class sections) as last fall.”

However, he said the budget cuts will require the college to reduce the number of off-campus courses offered next fall.