Western Illinois University's Board of Trustees (BoT) agreed to grant extra authority to the school's interim president. During a teleconference meeting Monday, Chairperson Polly Radosh said Western's board regulations delegate much less authority to the university's president than other institutions.
“Usually this feature … emboldens shared governance and ensures healthy dialogue. But in an emergency, it’s problematic,” Radosh said.
She said rapidly changing circumstances during the coronavirus pandemic might require rapid responses from Interim President Martin Abraham.
The resolution allows him to decide whether to refund or credit student fees for the spring semester. Due to the pandemic, students were encouraged not to return to campus after spring break if they had housing elsewhere.
Dr. Abraham said WIU is waiting to find out how much funding it can expect from the federal CARES Act and exactly how that money can be used.
“The analyses that some others have done suggest that we’ll get somewhere in the neighborhood of $8.5 million,” said Abraham.
He said half of that is supposed to go to students but the Act does not provide details. He said he is seeking clarification.