Tag Archives: UA Transformation

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

proposed;

• 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.

Continue reading

Advertisements

ABOR Preview, part 1: Who will stick up for students in the tuition battle?

By Shain Bergan

As the week before Spring Break commences, the three academic issues on everyone’s mind are tuition, fees and tuition. As it so happens, base tuition and mandatory fees for Arizona’s public universities will be decided this week when the Arizona Board of Regents comes to the University of Arizona.

Always looking out for the students, the Board chose in late 2008 to put together a group—known as the Tuition and Affordability Work Group—to “examine tuition policies and affordability issues”. Well, it’s time for that group to put up or shut up. The entire Arizona university system is now—as in, like, right now!—looking to the group for leadership and guidance over whether or not to endorse a plan that would raise tuition about $2,000, which I’m sure will have some weight with the Regents’ decision.

I think we all know what the student preference would be (You know, keeping university enrollment affordable and all that jazz.), so I’m sure such a group would keep their interests in mind, right? After all, here’s a description of the people in the Tuition and Affordability Work Group:

“The work group included senior university staff, student leaders, and Board staff.”

Very well. Let’s go through these, shall we?

Senior university staff – I’m assuming this means university staffers in lofty positions. The only people this could include, though, would be university upper administration types and those who have been elevated by their peers (a.k.a. Faculty Senate Members). Considering the upper administrative and faculty leadership situations look something like this, this and this, I wouldn’t be holding out too much which stance they chose to go with while in the Tuition and Affordability Work Group.

Student leaders – Ah, surely if high-salaried folks in the Admin Building and at Faculty Senate meetings are unwilling to stand up for lower tuition and better higher education affordability (Don’t even throw that weak crap about financial aid picking up the affordability slack, because I will bring this up.), students’ own peers will do so, right?

Read this and this, then cringe.

Strike two.

So what’ll it be, Arizona Board of Regents? I think we all know the answer, but we’ll still be there on Thursday.

Strike three.

It’s time, Mr. President: End this “world class” charade

By Shain Bergan

When UA News released this video last week of University of Arizona President Robert Shelton “on the issues”, it was met with little to no fanfare, or even rather no recognition. It’s not hard to see why; there is certainly a lion’s share of routine talking points and the usual stock quotes to which we’ve all become way too accustomed since the initial memo announcing the beginning of the UA Transformation Process hit the presses in September 2008.

You know them—they string together phrases like “world-class institution” and “quality education” as if anyone is really buying that the mass reorganization, consolidation and cutting of UA programs nearly across the board are making us into a better university full of better students who will become better people to create a better world following their UA edification.

The video is almost a perfect summation of the what the UA faculty and students have been damn angry about for almost two years now—the inability of the university leaders to just admit that we’re all screwed.

I get it. Times are tough. It’s difficult to run a university when the state slashes $100 million out from under you. But please, Mr. President and Ms. Provost, call it what it is. It’s not “maintaining a quality education”; it’s trying to make sure that at least some quality is left following cuts and tuition hikes unprecedented in Arizona’s educational history. Students aren’t children anymore; neither are the faculty members. It’s time to fess up and admit what everyone already knows—that the actual “quality” of that piece of paper you get following graduation isn’t what it used to be…and it’s only going to get worse in Arizona.

Continue reading

UA Faculty Senate Elections: The more things change…

…the more things stay the same. Come and see:

By Shain Bergan

With petitions for those wanting to run in the Spring 2010 University of Arizona Faculty Senate Elections due in just a few short days on Feb. 14, the petitions are rolling in slowly but surely. Today marks the first release of the petitions that have so far been turned in, acquired by the WatchCat News-Journal via a public records request to University Communications.

Keep in mind that in all likelihood, most of the faculty running in this election have yet to turn in their complete paperwork. After all, they have until the rest of this week, plus the weekend. This is a good start, though. The first round of Faculty Senate nominees are as follows:

Continue reading

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:

Continue reading

Faculty Senate: When the boss is away, the kids will play

University of Arizona President Robert Shelton may have been out of town for an unspecified reason, but that didn’t stop the astute Faculty Senate from their monthly meeting. On the agenda this time around: new school formations, a budget update and uncomfortable relationships. Let’s dive in, shall we?

  • Provost: I have an update; we’re still working… – The administrative report (given by Provost Meredith Hay in Shelton’s absence) was so expeditively accelerated that a tweet would have probably sufficed. Hay stood up just long enough to explain to her faculty leadership colleagues that the UA administration is Continue reading

Staff on the move, Part 2

Staff on the Move, Part 2 – The College of Social and Behavioral Sciences

Note: Apologies for the lack of links, as much of this information is not link-able due to its emergence from interviews I have had with various CLAS personnel, and press releases that inexplicably no longer appear either on the UA News website or the UA website. Cheers!

Person of Interest: Ed Donnerstein

Previous Position: Dean, College of Social and Behavioral Sciences

Current Position: Communications professor (on sabbatical)

Background: SBS dean since 2002, Donnnerstein resigned as dean on July 1, announcing he would take on his old job as a communications professor. At the same time, Donnerstein told the media he was going to take a year-long sabbatical, although he would not specify why he was taking a sabbatical or why he was resigning as the college’s dean. Curiously, the UA Department of Communications staff members and faculty could neither confirm nor deny to me whether Donnerstein was actually technically still employed at the university anymore. Hmmm.

Continue reading