Program Prioritization begins new phase

Altgeld HallNIU’s Program Prioritization efforts entered a new phase July 15 with the submission of all divisional action plans.

Members of President Doug Baker’s cabinet began their examination and discussion of the plans last week during a leadership retreat.

According to those in attendance, the action plans developed by the divisions were largely thoughtful and responsive to the task force recommendations. New opportunities for collaboration across divisional lines were identified and are under consideration.

The plans put forward include many innovative ideas that do not require new resources, and some of these are already being implemented.

Proposed actions that require the reallocation of additional resources are subject to further analysis by the Executive Budget Committee (EBC). That subcommittee of the cabinet will work with representatives from the Resource, Space and Budget Committee and the Academic Planning Council to align and integrate such recommendations with the university budget and hiring processes over the short- and long-term.

Ultimately, President Baker is responsible for ensuring that outcomes of Program Prioritization are reflected in the annual and multi-year budgets presented to the NIU Board of Trustees.

Douglas D. Baker
NIU President Doug Baker

Feedback received by the cabinet, the EBC and the shared governance representatives will help inform Baker as he develops final budget recommendations to the Board of Trustees.

“We are carefully and consciously determining how to align university goals with our resources so that we can best fulfill our mission. We will continue to develop this process as an ongoing way to manage NIU in coming years,” Baker said. “Mission- and priority-based resource allocation must become a core practice.”

As plans are enacted, NIU will continue to honor all existing contracts with employees and will guarantee that students will be able to complete their academic programs.

The university also will follow all curricular processes currently in place for addition or deletion of academic programs, said Lisa Freeman, executive vice president and provost.

NIU will issue a formal progress report in November.

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