Present: Sheila Berg, Michele Crase, Steven Estes, Mary Grosch, Joe King, Carl Leoni, Krissy Melander, Jim Murphy, Ron Pearson, Herb Rubin, Frederick Schwantes, Lori Sprague, Alex Underwood.
Absent: Donald Grady, Dori Hooker, Robert Huffstutler, Theresa Kirner, Craig Marcus, Julie Robertson, Sandy Carlisle
I. CHAIRS ITEMS
A. Chair, Bob Albanese, called the meeting to
order. Roll call was taken.
B. The Agenda was approved.
C. The minutes of the October 22, 2002 meeting were approved. Alex U. asked that when referring to the residence halls in the minutes the term dorms not
be used. Approved minutes will now go forward for distribution.
D. Chairs Comments
Bob A. addressed how the Physical Plant units that report to him are dealing
with the budget crunch at this time. Recently, he met with each of
departments and discussed the levels of service each department will be able to provide for the rest of this year and FY2004. Most important, he felt,
was communicating to the campus any reduction in the levels of service. He asked the janitorial foremen to communicate with building residents to let
them know what janitorial services will and will not be available on a consistent basis because of budget constraints. If there is a complaint with the
level of services, they should contact Bob A. He also advised foremen and supervisory personnel to take into consideration the resources available
and then prioritize what needs to be done. He felt we should use the funding available in the most efficient way to meet the ultimate goal of educating
our students. So far this year Bob A. has been pleased with the response from his departments considering the budget cuts. He noted there has not
been an increase in complaints from the campus community.
Another funded item of importance is snow removal. Over the years
equipment has been upgraded and the snow removal program has been
streamlined to make it as efficient as can be. It is working well and at this time will not be affected by budget cuts.
A large budgetary item is the summer grounds worker program which is the
hiring of high school and college age students. Bob A. felt that
aesthetics of the campus is very important when it comes to recruitment of students and hopes that this program can continue this summer at the same
He asked anyone to give him a call if it is taking an inordinately long time to get a maintenance work order taken care of.
Bob brought the committee up-to-date on various projects:
a) The storm water project will be substantially completed by the end of this week. Upgrades took place at the two lagoons which will help the
water flow on campus. Aesthetically, both lagoons were improved. The seven million dollar cost was funded by the State of Illinois
b) Work on Altgeld Hall is progressing. A
grand staircase is expected to be installed in the near future. Landscaping
will be an important part of
this project. A completion date is not available as yet.
c) Holmes Student Center has had some work done
to make it handicapped accessible. In February an elevator installation
will begin so that the
lower level is accessible without having to use the freight elevator. Restrooms on each floor are now handicapped accessible. The Ellington
ballroom will also undergo upgrading and will be closed next summer. Other areas slated for improvements in the future are the Blackhawk
cafeteria and the Pheasant Room. The use of the hotel rooms will also be studied to determine the optimum number of hotel rooms.
d) Smart classroom continue to be a priority when funding is available.
e) The Convocation Centerís outside marquee will
be installed by the end of the year, weather permitting. Bob A. said
the recent graduation
ceremonies held at the Convocation Center received a good deal of positive feedback from the University administration, the graduates, and
their families. He praised the work done by the Convocation Center staff and the provostís personnel. With three ceremonies following closely
one after another, the parking situation and traffic were handled very well. This first graduation provides something to build on for future
graduations. A few minor adjustments will be made to improve on the process.
Steve E. commented that as an academic advisor he has had the opportunity
to work on the University commencements for six years and said
this recent ceremony was one of the best. He described it as phenomenal. He noted the lack of recycling bins at the Center. Bob A. said he is
awaiting their arrival as they have been on order for some time.
Bob A. mentioned to maintain the dignity of the commencement ceremony there
were no concessions available, but said the availability of
refreshments was questioned and will be looked at for future graduation ceremonies.
Herb R. commented, with all the projects in process, that it be made clear
to the students that funding of these projects is not being done at their
expense. He advised that it be publicized to students that the infrastructure improvements on campus are paid for with outside money and
therefore do not affect the price of their books or tuition. Bob A. agreed that funding is a complex issue and several attempts have been made to
communicate this to students, such as through the news media and meetings with students at the residence halls. He also added he would like to
meet with the Deans and department heads in the future to explain issues such as funding of service deparments.
II. New Business
1. Exterior Environmental Subcommittee
Chair, Jim M., reported on the recent meeting. The first item of
business was the tree removal process. He explained the campus tree
saying it is done on a yearly basis. Trees which are dead or dying are identified by Jim M., Bob A. and the grounds staff and removed. He
distributed the campus map indicating where the trees are located and commented there are fewer trees than usual slated for removal. Bob A.
explained that if a tree is removed it is replaced with the planting of another from a small tree farm maintained by the Grounds Department. The tree
trimming program helps to save many of the trees, but there are trees that were never meant for this environment and eventually have to be removed.
The subcommittee reviewed the memorial gifts program for the benefit of
the new members. New locations for exposure were discussed. So far,
have at least 10 memorial gifts throughout campus. Jim M. mentioned a memorial rose has been proposed. Brochures are available from the
Development and University Relations department and all contributions go through the NIU Foundation. Bob A. will bring brochures to the next
meeting for those who have not seen them.
A list of landscaping funding needs were presented by Jim M. from the subcommittee:
» Parking Lot 17 Ė visitors lot
» Convocation Center Phase II
» Watson Creek storm water improvements
» East Lagoon
» Center for the Study of Family Violence and Sexual Assault
» Altgeld Hall
» Center for Diversity Resources
» West Lagoon
» Founders Library Plaza
Jim M. said Herb R. suggested using prairie as cover for some of the permanent
remote locations for easy maintenance. Bob A. said at the end of
fiscal year, if funding is available they will try to take care of a few of these landscaping upgrade projects.
The subcommittee reviewed the materials gathered previously on policies
and regulations on towers and installing telecommunication devices on
University buildings. The previous subcommittee had recommended that the University develop a task force to establish a policy. This task force
would probably be made up of members from the Provost office, Telecommunications, Finance and Facilities, etc. There was no action taken on this
recommendation. Bob A. will look into this. He also said, along these lines, aesthetically there is a tower at the east lagoon that is not needed and can
be removed. With so much wireless technology he wonders how many of the towers on campus are needed. He will meet with Wally Czerniak of
Telecommunications concerning need and ownership of these towers. Bob A. reiterated that a policy on installing devices on University buildings is
Another issue addressed was the bicycle path system. Jim M. noted
the increase in the number of bicycles at Barsema Hall due to the distance
students have to travel across campus to get to Barsema. He felt the Committee should urge the University to hire a consultant for the purpose of
establishing a comprehensive plan regarding bike paths on campus. He did mention that some campus master plans do include bike paths but won't
be implemented for some time yet. Mention was made of the fact that Julia Fauci, a former member of the Committee and a proponent of bicycle use,
has recently been elected to the County Board. Members felt her election to the Board may be an aid in developing bicycle paths in the county.
Bob A. brought up the possibility of providing bicycles that students can
use to get across campus and not worry about returning them to the original
location. There are used bicycles available that could be painted a generic color and would be free for student use. Herb. R. asked if that program
couldn't be started soon. Bob A. will check with NIU's Public Safety on the feasibility of starting the program soon. Sheila B. asked about the
possibility of having bicycle loops installed at the Convocation Center for students and staff who come out to purchase event tickets.
2. Interior Environmental Subcommittee
Chair, Michele Crase, reported that the no smoking policy and its effect
on smokers at the entrances into the buildings was discussed at the recent
meeting of the subcommittee. The issue was discussed on the Tom Payne website and she asked for and received feedback from several
constituents. She will bring this information to the next meeting. One option she brought up was if a building has multii-entrances to designate certain
ones smoke-free. She noted that it was important to give smokers a voice.
3. Safety and Security Subcommittee
Ron Pearson said the subcommittee's discussion focused on limiting access
to certain parts of campus where traffic congestion exists during school
hours. An example is the DuSable Hall bus turn-around. When the visitor's lot is completed next year and a new booth installed, they discussed
moving the present visitor's lot booth to University Circle and Stadium Drive, install an arm, and hire students to monitor activity. It would serve to
allow only buses, service vehicles, handicapped vehicles, and reserved space owners. There would also be allowances made for special situations.
Other areas of concern are Wirtz Drive and Holmes Student Center bus turn-around.
Another idea was to prohibit certain color permits on campus during certain
hours during the day. He said other schools prohibit vehicles on
with a residence hall permit. The subcommittee will look further into these options.
As there were no further comments or questions, Bob A. wished everyone an enjoyable break.
III. Next Meeting - The next meeting will be on January 28, 2003 in Founders Library at 2:30 p.m.
IV. Meeting adjourned at 3:45