SRC students show support for MAP funding

http://ift.tt/2n4Xr03

Students on the Canton campus of Spoon River College sign a poster Tuesday to show their support for support for MAP (Monetary Award Program) funding for students at SRC.

01-All No Sub,02-Pol,12-Coll,16-Econ,XHe1

Feeds

via News – Canton Daily Ledger – Canton, IL http://ift.tt/2nQVTKK

March 25, 2017 at 03:39AM

SRC students show support for MAP funding

Bill would create Campus Free Speech Act

http://ift.tt/2nTtAvw

BLOOMINGTON — Legislation co-sponsored by state Rep. Dan Brady would create a Campus Free Speech Act requiring public colleges and universities in Illinois to adopt policies on free expression to protect the free speech rights of invited speakers.

The measure, House Bill 2939, was introduced last month by state Rep. Peter Breen, R-Lombard, and is based on — but not identical to — a model bill developed by a conservative research organization, the Goldwater Institute. About a half dozen other states are considering similar bills.

A hearing on the bill is scheduled for 4 p.m. Wednesday before the House Higher Education Committee.

Brady, a Bloomington Republican, said he became chief co-sponsor because he agrees with the intent of “protecting our free speech and ability to express that message.”

“I think for all of our universities to be responsible for having on their books a protocol and policy for freedom of speech is a good thing,” Brady said.

The model legislation was developed in the wake of several incidents on campuses across the country in which protesters disrupted talks by controversial speakers or invitations to such speakers were withdrawn. 

The legislation also was inspired by situations in which colleges limited the ability of students to protest or distribute literature.

One such incident occurred in 2015 at the College of DuPage, where students handing out copies of the U.S. Constitution were confronted by a security officer because they had not obtained a permit from officials.

Breen said, “This is something that continues to come up nationally and within my own district,” which includes the College of DuPage.

Although Breen based his initial bill on the Goldwater Institute’s model, he is filing an amendment to revise parts of it after consulting with the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois.

Among other things, the changes would remove references to sanctions for infringing on the rights of others to listen or engage in free expression. The original bill stated that a student infringing on such rights would be suspended for a minimum of one year for a second offense and included financial damages of at least $1,000.

Illinois State University spokesman Eric Jome said ISU has policies and practices that cover most of what’s in the bill.

Although Schroeder Plaza on the north side of the quad tends to be the site of many demonstrations because of its openness and visible location, ISU doesn’t have specific “speech zones,” said Jome.

The student conduct code states that “students are free to assemble and to express their free speech in a peaceful and orderly manner” but that disrupting or obstructing activities or inciting others to do so is a violation of the code.

Jome noted that ISU President Larry Dietz has talked about being “respectful of other people’s opinion and people’s right to express themselves.”

But Jonathan Butcher, education director of the Goldwater Institute, said that hasn’t been the case everywhere.

Butcher, who helped develop the model legislation, said there have been a number of incidents where protesters have “tried to silence others. This is the crux of it.”

He cited a case earlier this month at Middlebury College in Vermont where chanting demonstrators prevented a controversial speaker from delivering a talk.

“You can yell when it’s your turn,” Butcher said, but civil society depends on the ability of people to express themselves.

Butcher said the Goldwater Institute is a Phoenix-based research institution, founded in 1988, that works to protect individual liberties and constitutional rights. Butcher categorized it as “conservative.”

Butcher said universities should be places where you “can have debate about uncomfortable things” and it is wrong “when you forcibly stop someone else from speaking.”

He said, “We need to educate students on what it means to protect the First Amendment.”

Follow Lenore Sobota on Twitter: @pg_sobota

02-Pol,07-SocISTLAdv,12-Coll,19-Legal,XHe1,03-HL

Feeds

via http://www.pantagraph.com – RSS Results in news/state-and-regional/illinois* of type article http://ift.tt/P03a64

March 25, 2017 at 02:02AM

Bill would create Campus Free Speech Act

Bill would create Campus Free Speech Act

http://ift.tt/2nTtAvw

BLOOMINGTON — Legislation co-sponsored by state Rep. Dan Brady would create a Campus Free Speech Act requiring public colleges and universities in Illinois to adopt policies on free expression to protect the free speech rights of invited speakers.

The measure, House Bill 2939, was introduced last month by state Rep. Peter Breen, R-Lombard, and is based on — but not identical to — a model bill developed by a conservative research organization, the Goldwater Institute. About a half dozen other states are considering similar bills.

A hearing on the bill is scheduled for 4 p.m. Wednesday before the House Higher Education Committee.

Brady, a Bloomington Republican, said he became chief co-sponsor because he agrees with the intent of “protecting our free speech and ability to express that message.”

“I think for all of our universities to be responsible for having on their books a protocol and policy for freedom of speech is a good thing,” Brady said.

The model legislation was developed in the wake of several incidents on campuses across the country in which protesters disrupted talks by controversial speakers or invitations to such speakers were withdrawn. 

The legislation also was inspired by situations in which colleges limited the ability of students to protest or distribute literature.

One such incident occurred in 2015 at the College of DuPage, where students handing out copies of the U.S. Constitution were confronted by a security officer because they had not obtained a permit from officials.

Breen said, “This is something that continues to come up nationally and within my own district,” which includes the College of DuPage.

Although Breen based his initial bill on the Goldwater Institute’s model, he is filing an amendment to revise parts of it after consulting with the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois.

Among other things, the changes would remove references to sanctions for infringing on the rights of others to listen or engage in free expression. The original bill stated that a student infringing on such rights would be suspended for a minimum of one year for a second offense and included financial damages of at least $1,000.

Illinois State University spokesman Eric Jome said ISU has policies and practices that cover most of what’s in the bill.

Although Schroeder Plaza on the north side of the quad tends to be the site of many demonstrations because of its openness and visible location, ISU doesn’t have specific “speech zones,” said Jome.

The student conduct code states that “students are free to assemble and to express their free speech in a peaceful and orderly manner” but that disrupting or obstructing activities or inciting others to do so is a violation of the code.

Jome noted that ISU President Larry Dietz has talked about being “respectful of other people’s opinion and people’s right to express themselves.”

But Jonathan Butcher, education director of the Goldwater Institute, said that hasn’t been the case everywhere.

Butcher, who helped develop the model legislation, said there have been a number of incidents where protesters have “tried to silence others. This is the crux of it.”

He cited a case earlier this month at Middlebury College in Vermont where chanting demonstrators prevented a controversial speaker from delivering a talk.

“You can yell when it’s your turn,” Butcher said, but civil society depends on the ability of people to express themselves.

Butcher said the Goldwater Institute is a Phoenix-based research institution, founded in 1988, that works to protect individual liberties and constitutional rights. Butcher categorized it as “conservative.”

Butcher said universities should be places where you “can have debate about uncomfortable things” and it is wrong “when you forcibly stop someone else from speaking.”

He said, “We need to educate students on what it means to protect the First Amendment.”

Follow Lenore Sobota on Twitter: @pg_sobota

02-Pol,07-SocISTLAdv,12-Coll,19-Legal,XHe1,03-HL

Feeds

via http://www.pantagraph.com – RSS Results in news/state-and-regional/illinois* of type article http://ift.tt/P03a64

March 25, 2017 at 02:02AM

Bill would create Campus Free Speech Act

Black officials to Rauner: We don’t want Vallas at Chicago State

http://ift.tt/2n04yWA

A group of black city leaders has denounced Gov. Bruce Rauner‘s push for a new leader at Chicago State University ahead of an emergency board of trustees meeting scheduled for Monday.

The governor’s office said earlier in the week Rauner wants Paul Vallas, the former CEO of Chicago Public Schools, to assume some sort of crisis management role at the Far South Side university. The role is meant to be temporary until a new, full-time president can be found. The job has not been clearly defined and does not yet have an official title.

The aldermen and religious leaders who called a press conference on Friday questioned the need for such a role and cast suspicion on the intent behind it.

“I just don’t know what value he adds to this university, that’s my concern,” said Ald. Roderick Sawyer, 6th. “I don’t even know what a crisis intervention specialist means. I can understand it, but I would like to see a defined description of what that looks like and what he’s supposed to do. Is he usurping the president’s authority and powers? Is he adding to that? Has he got a specific task in mind?”

Speakers at the media event all said they want an “open and fair process” to choose a new leader that is not limited to just two candidates. Cook County Commissioner Stanley Moore said they are looking for someone with university experience and a financial and accounting background who can help the school build relationships. He said he believed the right person for the job was the interim president, Cecil Lucy.

“This has to be an open process, this has to be a search committee,” Moore said. “We are not just going to stand idly by and let someone just pick or appoint who they want to be the president of Chicago State. We believe in the interim director right now, we’ve asked them that he be considered. We hope that on Monday the board will do the right thing.”

Moore also said that the group would prefer the president to be African American because most of Chicago State’s students are minorities.

The proposed Vallas appointment comes during a time of turmoil for the 150-year-old Far South Side campus.

The school, long plagued by financial mismanagement, administrative scandal and poor academic achievement, has struggled throughout Illinois’ 18-month budget impasse, which has halted regular funding for the state’s public universities. The university laid off 40 percent of its staff earlier this year, and a string of infrastructure failures has further jeopardized the campus’ already strained budget.

Lucy was named interim president after the previous president, Thomas Calhoun Jr., stepped down in September after just nine months on the job, taking a $600,000 severance with him.

The board is holding a special board meeting Monday to discuss the leadership issue.

“Chicago State University is in crisis and requires transformational change in order to improve student success,” said Illinois Secretary of Education Beth Purvis, in a statement. “While this is a board decision, we believe that Paul Vallas has the skills to implement a strategic plan that will lay a strong foundation for a new president. It is our expectation, the board would launch a comprehensive, nationwide search within six months to recruit and hire the right long-term candidate.”

A few people got into heated discussions with some of the speakers in front of the campus library where the news conference was held. Kim Dulaney, an African-American studies professor who has three degrees from Chicago State, said the group was “misguided,” though well-intentioned.

“We don’t want Vallas as president but we want Vallas here — or somebody here — that’s outside this collective that has been here, to have the authority to review what they’ve done and hold the people accountable. That’s what we want,” Dulaney said. “We don’t want him as a president just like we don’t want Lucy as a president. Neither of the two are qualified.”

Twitter @GraceWong630

gwong@chicagotribune.com

01-All No Sub,02-Pol,03-HL,04-Pens,12-Coll,XHe1

Feeds

via Home – Chicago Tribune http://ift.tt/1LjWzdx

March 24, 2017 at 08:39AM

Black officials to Rauner: We don’t want Vallas at Chicago State

John A. Logan board candidates discuss, budget cuts, layoffs and future of school

http://ift.tt/2nL2kyK




CARTERVILLE — April’s consolidated election will see the vacancy of two spots on the John A. Logan College Board of Trustees, and four candidates have stepped up to fill them.

It has been an eventful year for JALC. In March of 2016 the Board of Trustees announced it would be laying off 55 employees, the majority of whom were teaching staff, in response to the state’s ongoing budget impasse, which has reduced school funding to a trickle. The school received $4.3 million in funding last year as the result of a stopgap spending measure passed by the state legislature. JALC’s vice president of business services, Brad McCormick, said this would have gotten the school through March or April of this year were it not for the extra nearly $1 million raised, which will see them through the end of their fiscal year on June 30. He also said the college is operating at 10 percent under budget.

All four candidates felt qualified to help get the college through the lean times, however long they last.

Bob Ellis, of West Frankfort, said the state’s budget problems are not unique to any one school and he does not consider it to be an excuse for poor school conditions or decision-making.

“I always say, ‘poor baby,’” Ellis said, addressing the funding complaint. “Everybody is in the same situation.” He added that it will take unique and pragmatic thinking to get the school back in fiscal order. He said looking at wasteful spending, particularly with contracts, is a good place to start saving money.

“I think people have a tendency to pay too much and that’s where an executive has to step in with the gavel,” Ellis said. As former finance commissioner and mayor of West Frankfort, Ellis said he has seen a certain disregard when public officials spend taxpayer money. Ellis said this needs to stop.

“You have to make them care,” he said.

Tightening up wasteful spending is chief on William Orril’s agenda, as well.



+3 

William Orrill


Provided

“What we have to do … I believe is we have to evaluate every program that John A. Logan has, and look at where possible savings can be made, but we also have to increase enrollment,” he said. Orill, of Carbondale, said he is uniquely qualified to deal with the scant state spending. He serves as president of the board of trustees for Therapy Center of Southern Illinois, which is also owed state funds.

“It’s not just Logan College, it’s everybody,” he said.

Rebecca Borgsmiller, of Carterville, a former JALC trustee, said the school needs to find new ways of generating revenue that could offset some of the state funding. The choices may not be easy to make, but for her, most everything is on the table.



+3 

Rebecca Borgsmiller


Provided

“Do I want to raise tuition? No. Do I want to raise taxes? No. But I think we have to consider every option out there,” Borgsmiller said. As an example, she proposed potentially increasing class sizes, which would reduce the number of sections taught or posing the question to faculty of taking on an extra class, at least until the state passes a complete budget, whenever that is. Until then, she says she wants to find ways of doing more with less.

“I just think we have to learn to be leaner and meaner, if you will,” Borgsmiller said.

Mandy Little, of West Frankfort, was not far behind. She has a particular litmus test for where to start looking at budget reductions or cuts.

“Anything that does not directly relate to a student’s success in the classroom, in my opinion, should be one of the first things that we look at in terms of ways that we can save money,” she said. She offered athletics as an example, acknowledging that the department has seen significant cuts already.



+3 

Mandy Little


Provided

“We recruit quite a few athletes who are from out of the district and out of the state,” Little said, explaining that the school provides lodging and helps with bills for these students. Little said maybe the school should recruit less from these areas

“If we were recruiting a lot more local athletes, then I think there would be a reduction of costs in the athletic department,” she said.

Little thinks this can happen in every area on campus.

“Is there a way it can cost us less without eliminating it completely,” she said, offering the examples of moving the campus toward being paper-free or finding ways to reduce postage. Little said all these seem small separately, but together they can be substantive.

Layoffs

One thing none of the candidates wanted to see was more layoffs as a cost-saving measure. Little has received two associate degrees from the college and thinks last year’s layoffs need to be reversed as quickly as possible.

“We need to look at every single nook and cranny and see what the best way is that we can bring back as many full time faculty as quickly as possible,” Little said.

“As soon as money is available, it’s my belief, that all of the people that were laid off at Logan College need to be hired back,” he said. He added that certainly no other faculty or staff should be let go.

Little said from where she stands, the board has lost perspective of what their core mission should be.

“I think that the board has lost a little bit of focus on what their primary objective is, which is to provide a quality education to the students at an affordable price,” Little said. She said laying off so many employees, particularly the full-time teaching staff, directly impacts this mandate.

Ellis said while the layoffs were unsettling, he chooses not to focus on the past.

“I don’t think any candidate should go in thinking about those problems they have had in the past,” he said, adding that he wants to look ahead.

Get news headlines sent daily to your inbox

Restoring good faith

The community uproar over last year’s layoffs was substantial. There were protests and marathon board meetings. People were angry, and as a result the college lost some face. The candidates all felt there was a road back. One central theme in this is transparency.

One of the biggest complaints last year was that, to some, it appeared the JALC board acted without a lot of outside input. Borgsmiller was one such person and this runs counter to her thinking. In her understanding, there was no involvement of the faculty association last year when layoffs were decided upon by the board.

“We don’t know if they would have made some concessions that might have been able to keep some positions at the college that were rift,” she said. Borgsmiller said this shows a fault in leadership. “If you don’t give them an opportunity to make concessions or work with you, that’s a failure in the process in my opinion.”

Little said restoring the faith of students and faculty will go a long way to healing bad blood.

“You bring back their teachers and the students know you have their backs, so to speak,” Little said, adding that faculty would feel supported, too.

Ellis said he believes transparency is the answer.

“Any board needs transparency,” he said, specifically when it comes to layoffs. “As far as the philosophy of layoffs are concerned, that should be open and transparent,” Ellis said.

Orrill also stressed this.

“We also have to improve communication and transparency to the general public,” he said of his plan to improve community relations and restore good faith in JALC.

The bottom line

Providing an education is the primary function of John A. Logan College and for all of the candidates, the students need to be the focus of everything the board does.

“I think that when the college handed out rift notices last year … I think that made it clear that the students were not at the forefront,” Little said.

Borgsmiller also stressed keeping students in mind, which took her back to the layoffs.

“The best way to enhance the student experience is to have qualified, passionate people in the classroom,” she said. Students are not likely to remember who the president or board members were in their time at the school but Borgsmiller said they will remember instructors that bring the subject to life.

Orrill said he can’t imagine Southern Illinois without the job engines of John A. Logan College and SIU and said he will focus on keeping JALC a meaningful part of the community.

“We have to keep them viable and we have to keep them focused on the future,” Orrill said.





02-Pol,07-SocISTLAdv,12-Coll,16-Econ,XHe1

Feeds

via thesouthern.com – RSS Results in news/local of type article http://ift.tt/1mQfbqP

March 23, 2017 at 10:07PM

John A. Logan board candidates discuss, budget cuts, layoffs and future of school

EIU provost candidate stresses market-smart view in higher ed

http://ift.tt/2mZT32t

CHARLESTON — Eastern Illinois University’s first candidate out of four seeking the top academic position on campus has a mission-centered but market-oriented view on how academics should function, according to a faculty open session Thursday.

Tim Crowley was the first provost and vice president of Academic Affairs candidate to come to Eastern for tours and interviews with the campus community.

Hailing from Fort Hays State University in Hays, Kan., Crowley, current FHSU assistant provost for academic programs and student success, touched on his history and the history of his university as an example of the success that can come out of his university’s rule of thinking.

Crowley said like in Illinois, albeit under different circumstances, the State of Kansas seems reluctant to fund higher education.

“I live in a red state,” he said. “They are not interested in funding higher education… Our latest administration has wanted to starve the beast. Higher education is a part of state government and the thought is to make state government smaller.”

On top of this, his university is housed in a depopulating part of the state. Crowley said it is more and more clear and evident that the university cannot rely entirely on the state to fix its issues.

“We have always looked at things through whether it is mission-centered,” Crowley said. “The second question we ask is if it is market smart. The idea that higher education has been above, on top of a mountain and never wanted to engage in the realities of the trading and the market is really a false one.”

He said an institution can be market-smart as long as it does not negatively affect the mission.

During the open session with faculty, Crowley cited two programs that were implemented at his university, which he saw as successful avenues in enhancing academics to be more market-focused.

One avenue he mentioned was focused on adopting online programing. He said online programming opened up who the university could educate outside of their state.

However, Crowley said it is still just as important to maintain a strong on-campus community.

Crowley said forming international relationships also is a successful program his university undertook. FHSU formed relationships with Chinese universities, which Crowley said has been a fruitful venture.

However, international relationships and online academic courses and programs are only some pieces of the puzzle.

“I think enrollment management is probably one of the critical things to be worked on here,” Crowley said. “I think that runs the gamut of which online learning is just a piece.”

Crowley is coming from a bigger university, at least in terms of enrollment, with more than 12,000 students.

The second EIU provost candidate is expected to visit from March 27-29. He or she has not been named.

In the position, the incoming provost would oversee academic departments and various services including financial aid, admissions, the library, minority affairs and others. The provost is a second to the university president, according to a description of the position on the EIU provost search web page.

Get breaking news sent instantly to your inbox

EIU provost candidate stresses market-smart view in higher ed

Chicago Newsroom 3/23/17

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rhcZ4Zy0HPc

Ken Davis is joined by Bobby Otter, Budget Director for the Center for Tax and Budget Accountability. They discuss the deeply troubling state of finances at Illinois’ public universities. Since 2000, adjusted for inflation, higher education in Illinois has seen its funding reduced by almost 80 percent, and the situation is worse at the universities that serve largely minority or lower-income students. In their recent report, entitled Illinois’ Significant Disinvestment ion Higher Education, the CTBA concludes, “As things currently stand, there is no basis to believe the State will have the financial capacity to enhance Higher Education funding in the next few years.” This program was produced by Chicago Access Network Television (CAN TV).

Chicago Newsroom 3/23/17