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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    “Course researches, discusses Transformation process”

    Professor Nancy Huber speaks to her class, Students as Change Agents, about the universitys transformation process on Wednesday afternoon.
    Professor Nancy Huber speaks to her class, ‘Students as Change Agents,’ about the university’s transformation process on Wednesday afternoon.

    Rather than sit back and watch as their college careers be shaped by budget cuts and administrative changes, one class is working to collect student opinion to provide to key decision makers.

    University College 399: Students as Change Agents is an interdependent study on the university transformation process.

    In May, students in the class will present their information to UA administration and deans of colleges, “”to give them a perspective on the student opinion of this whole process,”” Dominick San Angelo, a public management and policy freshman said.

    “”We have a commitment already from (President Robert Shelton), the provost, and Fred Boice, the president of (Arizona Board of Regents) – they all said they would be there,”” the classes’ professor, Nancy Huber, said.

    “”If getting the interviews set up is any indication, there are a number of administrators who are keenly interested in what the students have to say,”” Huber said, “”In fact, recently we had an administrator visit the class who said, ‘You know, we sometimes forget to ask students, it’s so important to find out what they really think.'””

    Currently, students in the class are attempting to get as many students as possible to fill out their survey in order to further research student opinion, San Angelo said.

    “”Typically, students aren’t that involved with the shape and the structure and the politics of the whole university,”” Huber said. “”And that’s fine. But that’s one of the first things we did in class, was look at how the university does what it does.””

    The goal is to get 2,000 students to fill out the survey, Huber said.

    “”Whatever information we get is more than the administration’s done before,”” she said.

    In addition to gathering student opinion, the class has also extensively reviewed the UA Transformation Plan.

    “”A discussion about the UA Transformation in this class, as well as in the administration building, is very, very much influenced by what’s happening with the economy – you know, globally, as well as certainly in this state,”” Huber said. “”So we haven’t necessarily kept them apart, but we’ve tried to focus on the Transformation.””

    Associated Students of the University of Arizona president Tommy Bruce is a preceptor for the class.

    “”Nancy and I have been talking for awhile about doing something along these lines and it just seemed like a natural fit,”” Bruce said.

    “”From a student perspective, in terms of knowing both the student side and the administrative side, I don’t think anyone really knows more than Tommy about the two worlds,”” San Angelo said.

    “”I live and breathe the UA Transformation in my normal life and my normal job,”” Bruce said. “”My main role is just be there for information and knowledge, give a sounding board for students to ask questions.””

    Bruce said it’s also been “”extremely helpful”” to him because the students in the class seek feedback from other students so “”it’s a great built-in avenue”” to get opinions.

    “”It’s like a weekly focus group,”” he said.

    The class attempts to hear from all ends of campus by having a mix of students from various class standings, colleges, and clubs and organizations, Huber said.

    “”It’s essentially a leadership course,”” Huber said, “”Leadership in my way of teaching and thinking about it and writing about it is essentially about change, creating positive change. And that’s what we’ve been doing.””

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