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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Campus gets first look at White Papers

    Proposals put Eller school on the block:

    By Shain Bergan

    While the Eller College of Management’s White Papers were just one of 75 proposals set forth by department heads, faculty and students, they spell out a long story that begins with President Robert Shelton’s original memo in September and ends with possible $563,000 in savings – the bulk of which would come from eliminating school personnel.

    Just a few paragraphs after Eller Dean Paul Portney praises the School of Public Administration and Policy for its “”very productive collaborative research, teaching and outreach activities,”” he proposes the UA phase out the school and consolidate the curriculum with an outside college.

    “”SPAP is … a very small part of the Eller College of Management,”” the proposal states, “”accounting for about (6 percent) of the Eller College’s 5,300 undergraduate students.””

    Eller’s White Papers go on to state that the criminal justice major is “”a poor fit”” for the college.

    The proposal calls for the phasing out of all undergraduate and graduate degrees in public administration, while consolidating part of SPAP’s curriculum into UA South.

    Such a plan would involve the elimination of two lecturers, two classified staff positions, several adjunct positions, several graduate assistants and associates and a student position, as well as the department head stipend.

    Despite the proposal’s assertion that SPAP is small change in the grand scheme of Eller, history shows the opposite to be true, said Roger Hartley, SPAP associate dean.

    “”Public administration has been a part of Eller before Eller was even the Eller College,”” he said. “”It was once the College of Business and Public Administration.””

    In fact, the U.S. News and World Report ranked the public affairs program the 36th best in the nation.

    While Eller officials may also turn the school into a private-versus-public sector, both sectors interact constantly, Hartley added.

    “”Just read the headlines,”” he said. “”You will see that very little of business escapes government and vice versa.””

    The drastic dissemination of the SPAP would be more than just a university problem, Hartley said.

    “”The dean’s plan would kill public administration and policy education in southern Arizona,”” he said.

    The plan would set off a chain reaction, where few students would join a business track in public management and many faculty members would choose to leave rather than stay in business-only positions, Hartley said.

    “”We have an excellent program and faculty, and we all wished to stay in Eller,”” he said. “”We bring diversity to the college.””

    The wedge between officials within Eller began with Shelton’s first UA transformation memo on Sept. 12. Shortly after the release of the original memo, the Eller College Advisory Committee met with the college’s dean and vice dean to discuss possible reorganization avenues, the proposal states.

    After the committee advised Portney on preferred options, department heads met for lengthy meetings on Sept. 22. At a similar meeting held Oct. 3, Hartley expressed his clear disagreement on Eller officials’ decision to consider severely restructuring SPAP and its relationship to Eller.

    Hartley also showed his frustrations via a 19-page memo to Portley explaining why he believed SPAP’s reformation was not necessary. Hartley then sent another memo to Eller officials reaffirming his desire for SPAP to remain an independent department within Eller, according to the White Papers.

    “”There is no lack of clarity about the views of the faculty of SPAP,”” the proposal stated. “”There is frustration on all parts about the very limited time available for the compilation, preliminary evaluation and reporting on the proposals, as well about the … financial impact(s) associated with any of the proposals.””

    As it turns out, concern has been raised about Eller’s evaluation process between committee advice and Portney’s eventual recommendations, Hartley said.

    “”I must say that two Eller College committees did not recommend our program be put up,”” he said.

    The White Paper plan would also be “”a major political mistake”” for the UA, Hartley said.

    “”Ending our programs would cede the training of public officials to ASU,”” he said. “”President (Michael) Crow at ASU has invested in public administration, while we have let it go.””

    The state’s future would look bleak, should the proposal’s plan go through, Hartley added.

    “”Without Arizona producing graduates in criminal justice, nonprofit management and public management,”” he said, “”who will?””

    The vice dean and communications official for Eller chose to decline comment, while Portney was not available for comment.

    ASUA: UA missing chances for funding in nationally acclaimed programs

    By Chris Carter

    The process to change the UA is well under way. White Paper Proposal plans range from eliminating entire departments to being more effective in monitoring unnecessary usage of electricity – a main idea in the proposal set forth by the Associated Students of the University of Arizona.

    “”…(E)lectricity at a campus of our size, with increases in electrical costs, could potentially be a cost-saving measure,”” said Tommy Bruce, ASUA president.

    The ASUA plan outlines several other cost-saving measures that aim to use seasonal hiring and auxiliary funding.

    Although Bruce said there are means of generating funds that the UA has not yet set in motion, “”there’s a portion of the market that the university hasn’t entered … we have some of the highest acclaimed, top-notch programs in the country that a lot people would pay to have an opportunity to learn from,”” he said. “”And we don’t currently offer those opportunities.””

    In this program, individuals who are not interested in completing a specific degree would just take a class that interested them.

    Another point the ASUA proposal touches on is the classes that are offered in summer school and the possible creation of a minor program available during the summer.

    “”…There’s a lot of opportunity for revenue there, and there’s a significant opportunity to aid our students in four-year graduation rates, retention and support,”” Bruce said. “”The summer minor program is kind of like, ‘How do we make summer school more sexy?’ for the lack of a better term.””

    Bruce said to create and package a minor that could essentially finish the program in the summer is something that would draw students in.

    One cost-saving measure that was suggested in a separate proposal was to be more stringent on incoming freshman. However, Bruce feels that may not be the correct avenue. “”In my limited knowledge of what the proposal said, I would say it is a little short-sighted in the sense that we are a state university, and we have a commitment to serving the students of Arizona in that we shouldn’t necessarily decrease the amount of freshman or increase the requirements to be a student at the University of Arizona,”” he said. “”But what we need to do is provide the necessary tools in order to make the students successful.””

    Bruce said that cutting classes will not fix the problem. Increasing support services, such as ensuring class availability and advising, is where the focus should be.

    “”That’s what’s important … in my opinion,”” Bruce added.

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