Faculty airs grievances at FS meeting

By Jami Peterson

Faculty members aired their grievances about NIU’s $1 million lawsuit and the Board of Regents’ evaluation procedures Wednesday at the Faculty Senate meeting.

Many faculty members said they were left in the dark about the hiring of six former employees of the Management Association of Illinois to work in the Business and Industry Services at NIU. MAI has filed a lawsuit against NIU claiming the staff members secretly negotiated with NIU.

Philosophy Professor Sherman Stanage asked Provost Kendall Baker where the money to hire the six employees came from. “We’re told there isn’t any money,” Stanage said.

Although he was not directly involved in the hiring from the beginning, Baker said plans were made for the group to use their own funds.

“We were not interested in trying to take on any operation that would cost the university,” Baker said.

Associate Technology Professor Earl E. Hansen said he has many unanswered questions about the hiring of the six employees.

Hansen said he called the employees at the Business and Industry Services and asked some questions. The employees said they did not wish to get involved in “university politics,” he said.

“I told them they might want to hide behind a couch because the fan was already flying,” Hansen said.

Hansen told FS President J. Carroll Moody, “Something stinks and you better do something about it. I expect you to answer questions.”

Moody said the issue would be reviewed and placed on the agenda for the next FS meeting. “We need to have a lot more information,” Moody said.

Professor of Operations and Management Robert Lane said NIU should not “go out on its own” and start projects without being careful about misrepresenting the university.

“Either the administration is stupid or it’s administrative stupidity,” he said. “Walk away from this thing.”

Baker advised Hansen to speak with President John La Tourette to get more information.

English Professor James Giles said the money used for the project should have been used for classes at the university. “That’s a million we could have used,” he said.

Law Professor Rodolphe de Seife said he was concerned with a year of retirement granted by the BOR to La Tourette and Chancellor Roderick Groves during a budget recision. “Some of us feel a large amount of arrogance on the part of the BOR,” he said.

A motion was passed to send a grievance letter from the FS to the BOR.