Faculty Senate Passes Resolution About Cole Hall Future

This story was written by Dan Stone, Northern Star
Faculty Senate passed a resolution encouraging deliberation about the future of Cole Hall Wednesday.

The resolution, which is just a statement from FS and not an action item, addresses complications with the between 50,000 and 100,000 archaeological artifacts the anthropology department is storing in the Cole Hall basement.

Removing the artifacts from Cole Hall, according to regulations of the American Association of Museums, would take at least a year, anthropology associate professor Kendall Thu said.

Of the artifacts, which occupy arount 3,000 square feet of space, only two-thirds are inventoried, Thu said.

"The genesis of this resolution really comes from the students in my general education course who, by and large, felt very strongly that there needs to be more dialogue about the disposition of Cole Hall," Thu said.

Faculty Senate President Paul Stoddard suggested the resolution be clear that if Cole Hall is to be razed, sufficient time would be allowed for the artifacts to be properly moved.

Also, the resolution is intended to be supportive of the NIU administration, Thu said.

FS members expressed concerns about the university's ability to hold class with Cole Hall closed.

"The loss of those classrooms is a real issue and something has to be decided one way or another about that," Stoddard said.

Because spring enrollment is usually lower than fall enrollment, issues about finding space sufficient to hold classes hasn't been as big of an issue, Stoddard said.

Potentially, the university could end up losing available credit hours for students in high-enrollment classes due to the closure, he said.

Additionally, with Cole Hall closed, students no longer have access to the artifacts, which could be used in classes, Thu said.

Nancy Castle, allied health and communicative disorders professor, suggested the use of Carl Sandburg Auditorium for teaching, though using the auditorium for class would hinder the ability of the university to host guest speakers.
© 2008 Northern Star via U-WIRE