As the administrative elites slug it out at Northern Illinois University, it’s the smaller people who seem most likely to get hurt.The money isn't in a coffer.
Workers can be forgiven for wondering why the university can find hundreds of thousands of dollars to pay administrators not to work, or to hire expensive attorneys for top administrators, but the coffers seem to be empty when they seek a raise.
The expense-preference behavior, however, doesn't advance the university's stated goal of becoming a highly regarded student centered research focused public university, or whatever the current buzzwords are.
It is clear that when [current president Douglas] Baker took office in 2013, there was a mandate for change – the university had been beset by a series of high-profile, embarrassing incidents in the preceding year and a half. Change doesn’t always sit well with people, however, and sometimes change entails letting employees go. But NIU is a public institution, and there are rules it must follow.Yes, and there's money for the consultants to assist with the prioritization (the latest euphemism for cutting degree programs) and for a chief diversity officer, and getting beaten badly by the real Boise State isn't likely to affect the sports budget.
However this shakes out in federal court or in an administrative report, one thing we know for certain is that the university has spent hundreds of thousands already, and those it is supposed to serve – students – have received virtually no benefit. Meanwhile, the university still has received no state funding for this school year, and “program prioritization” is the order of the day.