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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Stimulus milestone leaves future uncertain

One of the most important dates of the year for current and prospective UA students recently passed with little to no fanfare. Truly, such a momentous occasion is cause for recognition and celebration. That being said, congratulations, University of Arizona, on receiving your 100 millionth stimulus dollar.

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), otherwise known as a socialist-pariah agenda that may have spared the United States from further economic collapse (what would the Founding Fathers think?), is responsible for the creation and maintenance of over 150 full-time university jobs last fiscal quarter, according to the UA’s ARRA Research Awards Summary. The same summary shows that the UA has received funds for 153 various projects, and has been granted the means to incentivize dozens of graduate students to remain at the UA when they otherwise might have left for greener pastures.  

There’s no wonder why this momentous occasion passed so many unaware: no one cares.

The stimulus is ancient history by now, lost amidst the release of several new vampire-dominated forms of media and recent fanfare for that big soccer thing people keep going on about. But you can bet that in a few months’ time anyone who chooses to follow UA politics will be so inundated with talk of the stimulus that it will make the hoopla over Proposition 100 look like the cursory greeting you give a cab driver.

By talk, of course, I mean a question. What happens when the stimulus money dries up?

As it stands, UA students and faculty may be perfectly content to bask in these latest riches and the benefits they bring. But administrators are already looking at the bleak prospect of these funds drying up, a prospect that will become even bleaker when the recently passed Proposition 100 expires in 2013. Will legislators leave the UA alone to attempt an increasingly challenging financial tightrope walk? Without the $50 million a year (so far) from ARRA or the projected millions from Proposition 100, what will there be to staunch the fiscal bleeding? How will the UA remain true to its mission as a top-tier research institution if it can’t maintain the standards it is establishing during these years of institutional aid? 

UA students now have 100 million reasons to care about stimulus spending, but they probably care far more about the recent announcement that Middle Barry Goldwater State Institute A&M is joining the Heretofore-Unnamed-12.

Students deserve a frank proposal and assessment of what will happen to the university in years to come. Prospective and current students should be warned of possible program and scholarship cuts, made privy to potentially crippling cuts to their college of choice lest halfway through their degree program they lose access to the resources they need to succeed.

Administrators have a few more years to hammer out these trifles, but when they get around to it they should make sure they do it in a way that involves the students in the process. After all, no amount of secrecy is going to cover up all of that red ink.

— Luke Money is a journalism junior. He can be reached at letters@wildcat.arizona.edu

 

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