BOR should be dropped

The Board of Regents should be eliminated.

For the first time in a long time, serious discussion is being heard about cutting the Regency system, something that usually receives only lip service. More importantly, a bill to drop the system is being proposed in the state legislature.

NIU President John La Tourette is trying to separate himself from the issue and is speaking through press releases and making statements about local tuition control.

La Tourette should have the courage of his convictions and either support the board or oppose it. Sitting the fence might be a wise career move—especially if the Regents are here to stay—but keeping his opinions to himself is akin to Supreme Court nominees having no views on Roe v. Wade.

What he and others must see is that the Regents, who boast of their influence and power in Springfield, seem to have little of either. Despite a few years of stable tuition, it’s on the rise, state funding is on the descent and projects are on hold.

The board has no effective lobbyist and they employ well-paid vice chancellors who duplicate jobs at the schools they govern.

Mostly, the Regents are a sticky stopping point between NIU and the Illinois Board of Higher Education. NIU students wait while officials wade through oceans of red tape to study reports and study them again.

Such bureaucracy is sad when education hangs in the balance.