Tag Archives: The Campus Correspondent

Breaking news: Shelton lowers tuition proposal by $400; Students: ‘Yeah, got a few more thousand of those?’

Strangely enough, Shelton's newest tuition proposal came in the form of this gift (shown above) given to UA students.

By Shain Bergan

Some fresh news, as of just a few hours ago, courtesy of the Campus Correspondent:

Apparently University of Arizona President Robert Shelton has had a last minute change of heart from his original tuition proposal. Less than 24 hours before the next Arizona Board of Regents meeting, where tuition will be set, Shelton sent a memo to student government leaders and deans outlining his new plan, released at the 11th hour:

“Thus, I am amending UA’s tuition and mandatory fee recommendations for FY 2011, as

follows, to implement a scaled and moderated approach to moving UA’s tuition to the median of

our peers.

• Reducing the originally proposed $1,450 increase for resident undergraduate tuition at

UA main campus by $400 to $1,050;

• Reducing the originally proposed $1,450 increase for resident graduate tuition (UA Main

and UA South) by $400 to $1,050;

• Maintaining the $500 increase in resident undergraduate tuition at UA South as originally


• Keeping the $2,000 increase in nonresident undergraduate and graduate tuition (UA

main campus and UA South) as originally proposed.”

It might be easy to applaud Shelton at this time, but something’s telling me the president may have had this move planned all along in order to gain favor with a campus that is becoming more and more disenfranchised with its leadership.

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Tuition vs. net cost, and the question of financial aid

By Shain Bergan

Becky Pallack made an interesting post on her Campus Correspondent blog for the Arizona Daily Star on Tuesday.

Short but sweet, Pallack points out that while everyone is focused on the impending dramatic increase in University of Arizona tuition and fees, they may actually want to take a closer look at net cost of attendance—that is, the cost after the help typically provided by the UA Office of Financial Aid.

The post on the Campus Correspondent references these numbers as the Arizona Board of Regents’ figures for net tuition paid by the average UA student:

“2006-07 $1,297

2007-08 $1,801

2008-09 $1,977”

Here’s the interesting part: Pallack says that the net cost of attendance is rising even faster than the tuition sticker price. UA President Robert Shelton and ABOR’s defense of the rising tuition over the past several months has been that while tuition itself will rise, financial aid will increase even more, actually making UA attendance more affordable for the majority of students, especially those under or around the poverty level.

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Another round of UA Transformation cuts is all but certain at this point

Kudos to the Arizona Daily Star’s Becky Pallack for this report on how the University of Arizona would approach another round of budget cuts, if such a realization became reality (also check out Pallack’s blog, The Campus Correspondent, which is conveniently located on the WatchCat’s blogroll).

Pallack includes this toward the end of her post:

“With all of that in mind, the UA’s strategy for budget planning goes like this:

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UA Tuition: A disturbing trend put into perspective

With all the recent talk out in cyberspace about tuition hikes—what they mean for the University of Arizona, examining what is supposed to be an “as free-as-possible” education, what the future will bring, sticker shock, etc.—the WatchCat News-Journal wants to get in on the action.

While it is not exactly an epiphany to state that continuous tuition hikes are disturbing and possibly excessive, connecting dots with what tuition hikes have meant historically may go a long way to putting things into perspective, showing just how outrageous some of these numbers have become and how they are connected to other aspects of university policy.

To do our part, we’ve spent quite some time digging around news reports, UA documents and the trusty ol’ UA Fact Books to bring you a good, hard numbers salad to go with your outrageous tuition beefsteak.

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So, how far are you willing to go? Now with working links!!

Much has been made both on this blog and within faculty meetings both public and private on the internal struggle between the University of Arizona sciences versus social sciences. It seems, from this piece in the Arizona Daily Star, that the fight has spilled out into the streets—the public, that is.

Is the concern done with its isolation policy within the UA community? Is the public really taking notice? Only time will tell, but if so, that can mean much more public support for the programs, departments and colleges that are being gutted at each and every stage of the UA Transformation.

Professors, department heads and deans have been looking for a way to get their stories out. This is definitely a step in the right direction for them. After all, the public can only be spoon-fed so much rhetoric by President Robert Shelton and Provost Meredith Hay in budget meetings, university-wide memos and coded political-speak that dominates Arizona Board of Regents meetings before they decide it’s time to take a closer look.

Also within the Daily Star opinions section (and linked to by the Campus Correspondent) is this guest piece written by UA Eller College of Management professor Shyam Jha.

In the column, Jha presents a novel idea: Instead of opening up the flood gates for just any ol’ high school student aspiring to achieve a mediocre post-high school education (think Shelton’s plan presented at the most recent ABOR meeting), the UA should instead raise admissions standards. Actually becoming a “world-class institution” instead of just strangling the hollow term with unbridled masturbatory obsession and inflating statistics to reflect a made-up reality? It’s so crazy it just may work.

Of course, part of the professor’s plan is to raise tuition by at least a drastic 33 percent. He argues that this would both reduce the number of students coming into the university and create more UA revenue. This is probably true. It’s also probably true that such an act could eliminate certain prospective students’ chances of getting into the university, even if increased financial aid is part of the deal within the equation.

If you’re willinig to pony up the extra money, though, or you are willing to take on thousands of dollars in student loans, this plan may actually work toward bringing academic excellence to the UA campus. That’s not sarcasm; that’s the truth. I know I certainly am willing. The truest thing Jha said is that admitting so many students is severely hurting the university’s ability to make its degrees actually worth anything.

So, the question becomes, how far are you willing to go for a quality education? How much do you want to rock the university boat?

Special Saturday night soup

  • This may or may not contain Red Tags.

    A renowned genetics professor is leaving the University of Arizona (The Campus Correspondent)

  • “Federal loans should go to those who are most likely to benefit from higher education, not to everyone who can enroll…” So, not these guys? Oops (Inside Higher Ed)
  • Of course waiting until the students had gone for Winter Break, the UA announced the selections of deans for the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, and the College of Fine Arts. (Note: Fishiness was the smell of the day when each of their predecessors suddenly “resigned” earlier this year. More on this later.) (UA News)
  • And you thought UA faculty had it bad… (The Philadelphia Inquirer)
  • WatchCat update notice: A new front page tab complete with in-depth information and speculation from research, interviews and reliable anonymous sources concerning the inner-workings and personnel moves associated with the UA Transformation should be up between Jan. 5 and 10.
  • Anyone for an H1N1 flu vaccine from UA Campus Health Services? (UA Campus Health Services website)

Sunday Soup…

  • Mmmm, hot UA noodle soup---just like the WatchCat likes it.

    Who needs section editors when you have an ads department? (God Blogging)

  • Just when you thought student government elections couldn’t get any more, well, bizarro. (The Desert Lamp)
  • An email scandal involving global warming and the University of Arizona. (The Arizona Daily Star)
  • A case of the Mondays can be solved by what’s sure to be an entertaining Faculty Senate meeting. Remember, that whole UA Transformation thing is going on. (UA News)