College aims for efficiency

By Brian Slupski

In an effort to make NIU’s external programming more efficient, the College of Continuing Education will be decentralized.

Presently, the College of Continuing Education handles the development of all of NIU’s external programs. With decentralization, the development of programs would be transferred to the individual college offering the program, like the College of Business.

NIU Provost Kendall Baker said the College of Continuing Education will still serve as a central unit, but it will serve in a supportive capacity handling the logistics of the programs.

College of Business Dean Richard Brown said “the idea is to better integrate the external programs into the academic unit.”

Brown said in the past colleges have had little control over the external programs.

“Some were taught by non-NIU faculty who we weren’t familiar with but would represent us, some were good and some weren’t so good,” Brown said.

Now colleges will have more control over the programs and who is conducting them and will be able to evaluate the quality of the instructor, Brown said.

The business school had to meet certain criteria before they were able to take on the new operations.

“We had to build the external programs into our 10 year promotion and merit system. Now if a faculty member is doing a lot externally they can be rewarded,” Brown said.

Only two colleges, the College of Business and the College of Education, have met the criteria and felt able to take on the new responsibilities.

J. Carroll Moody, the University Council executive secretary, said the decentralization will involve the transfer of some responsibilities and personnel to the individual colleges.

Baker said the process of decentralization will be a gradual one taking several months.

Re said before a college takes on the added responsibility it must, in its mission statement, make a strong commitment to external programming and will have to acknowledge faculty which are involved in the programs.