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The Daily Wildcat


UA president to hold first town hall of semester

Ryan Revock
Ryan Revock / The Daily Wildcat UA President Ann Weaver Hart answers questions at a town hall meeting that was open to the UA community on April 11, 2013.

UA President Ann Weaver Hart will hold her first town hall meeting of the semester on Tuesday, where topics could range from the university strategic plan to faculty and staff compensation.

The town hall, which takes place in the Flandrau Science Center from noon to 1 p.m., will allow students, faculty and staff to ask questions. Questions cannot be asked in advance and the town hall will not be live streamed, according to Heather Lukach, administrator for presidential events and visitor services.

The purpose of the forum is to allow the president to reach out to the community about what she’s been doing and her vision for the UA, according to J.C. Mutchler, executive director and vice president for the Executive Office of the President.

“It’s also a chance for people to come to the meeting and ask her questions about issues that they have concerns about or ideas that they have and share them,” Mutchler said. “It’s really an old-fashioned town hall in the historical sense of a chance to interact and see what’s on everybody’s mind.”

One of the main focuses of the town hall, according to Mutchler, could be Hart’s strategic plan.
Some of the topics faculty, staff and appointed professionals said they were interested in discussing include whether the university compensation plan includes raises for faculty and staff, as well as funding and revenue for the strategic plan.

“I think it’s unfortunate that more people don’t come out for these things,” said Wanda Howell, chair of Faculty Senate. “The problem with presidential schedules in general — they often seem inaccessible. I think this is her attempt to indicate that she’s more than willing to have conversations.”

Howell said another possible topic at the forum could pertain to Old Main and the efforts to finance its restoration.

Students are also encouraged to attend the public meeting. Some student leaders said the town hall is helpful for those who don’t regularly interact with Hart.

Hart will hold another town hall later in the semester at the College of Medicine in Phoenix, according to Lukach. Typically, Hart will hold two town halls each semester in order to maintain a dialogue with the campus community.

“I think she does that for people who don’t get a chance to hear from her directly. We’re lucky to have her,” said Zachary Brooks, president of the Graduate and Professional Student Council. “Anyone who can have that opportunity to talk to her is really lucky.”

– Follow Brittny Mejia @BrittnyAriel

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