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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    $100M in budget cuts offered

    At Mondays Faculty Senate meeting, ASUA President Tommy Bruce asked for help with Wednesdays student trip to the  Arizona capitol.
    At Monday’s Faculty Senate meeting, ASUA President Tommy Bruce asked for help with Wednesday’s student trip to the Arizona capitol.

    State university presidents deliver $100M budget cut plan to legislature

    At Monday’s Faculty Senate meeting, Provost Meredith Hay announced that the state university presidents met this past weekend with Arizona House Speaker Kirk Adams in Phoenix where they delivered to the legislature a viable number they say the state could realistically cut from the universities’ budget: $100 million.

    “”We deliberated all weekend with the presidents and the Board of Regents, and the number that was delivered for the system in total by Presidents Boyce and Shelton was around the neighborhood of a $100 million cut,”” Hay said.

    The presidents’ meeting with Adams also discussed the issue of the Arizona Board of Regents not being in charge of how these cuts will be distributed, she said.

    She also went on to discuss what she referred to as the “”semester of implementation”” – the most recent focus of the transformation plan. It will allow the UA to be more flexible in how they offer classes and hold faculty more accountable for work hours while also asking them to teach more hours.

    Bill may cause UA to lose more

    Due to concerns from the faculty, Hay also addressed impact of State House Bill 2246 – also known as the “”Equalization Bill.”” She explained that the UA is a more expensive school for students because of the high level of research conducted. If passed, the UA will actually lose more than the other schools since the other state universities cost less to operate.

    “”What they’re calling the Equalization Bill, essentially gives funding to the university regardless of the actual cost of the delivery of education. The University of Arizona actually costs more because our programs are more expensive than the other universities,”” Hay said. “”The legislatures are going to try and normalize the cost through universities and thus penalize the U of A. In other words, they would give us a greater cut piece of that cut than NAU or ASU.””

    Hay concluded by explaining that there has been no discussion of the fiscal year 2010 budget and they are still working to pass the fiscal year 2009 budget.

    New degree ‘levels’ proposed

    The meeting also included a presentation from Senator and Task Force Chair Peter Strittmatter on the updated version of the Student Retention and Advancement report. Their goals revolved around retention and improving graduation rates.

    Strittmatter is looking to establish a new degree program that would separate the existing degrees into levels based on merit and workload. The highest proposed degree would be “”Honors”” and the next level, “”With Honors,”” is achieved by meeting other specific requirements. Although the general degree would remain the same, he is also proposing a “”Multi-disciplinary”” degree as another option for students. The Multi-disciplinary degree would be six separate tracks of groups of classes aimed to appeal to students who want to focus on courses that would apply to their careers.

    Strittmatter said these leveled degrees would allow students to more easily work at their own pace and also help more students to graduate. The motion passed for further research into implementing Strittmater and the task force’s ideas.

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