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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Faculty Senate briefs

    Proposed retirement plan well received

    The three Arizona universities have proposed an amendment to the Arizona Board of Regents Optional Retirement Plan that would allow faculty members over the age of 62 to better choose how quickly to retire, said Allison Vaillancourt, UA associate vice president of human resources.

    Most faculty signed up with the existing plan may return to limited work immediately after retiring, according to a document provided at the meeting.

    “”If the department wanted to hire you back, you could be hired back, and that’s not something that’s currently permitted under our retirement plan,”” Vaillancourt said.

    Under the current policy, employees can be hired back at 49 percent of a full-time appointment after retiring.

    The new policy, if enacted, would allow retired faculty to return to a full-time appointment if they so choose, she said.

    “”I’m really excited about this,”” Vaillancourt added, addressing the assembly. “”I hope you are, too.””

    The goal of the proposed program is “”to enable (the UA) to retain people who are eligible to retire, who might otherwise leave,”” she said.

    “”It’s looking like we’re one of the first universities in the country to develop this kind of a model,”” Vallaincourt said.

    A motion to support the proposed plan passed unanimously.

    Shelton details budget requests

    President Shelton presented a breakdown of the UA budget requests for fiscal year 2009.

    Among the larger requests, the UA is seeking more than $13.6 million in “”critical faculty salary adjustments.””

    He emphasized that the salary increase would not apply to all members of the UA faculty.

    Other proposals include $1.9 million to improve air quality by limiting the use of gasoline engines, such as those used in lawn mowers and leaf blowers, Shelton said.

    Nearly $4.7 million have been requested for “”development of sustainable nanomanufacturing and bioengineering,”” according to a document Shelton circulated at the meeting.

    The UA has requested $3.5 million for innovation and decision support for the Arizona Climate Initiative.

    In addition, approximatley $5.9 million has tentatively been designated for “”integrating imaging and theraputics improved cancer treatments.””

    The budget requests have been approved by the Arizona Board of Regents and must now go before the state Legislature.

    “”Hopefully the governor will put that into her budget, and then the Legislature will take a look at the governor’s budget, massage it, chop it and add to it,”” Shelton said. “”By June, we’ll have a budget.””

    Credit hour limit questioned

    A proposal was made to cut the student credit hour limit to 145 from 150.

    A few years ago, state lawmakers decided that they didn’t want to pay for students taking more than the 120 credit hours typically required to graduate, Shelton said.

    “”We have very few students (who are exceeding the credit hour limit). They are non-traditional students and they are women,”” he said. “”So, we’re punishing people who are coming back to school and working hard to get their degrees.

    “”It’s a very wrong-minded approach, in my opinion. But I’m not in the Legislature.””

    -Jackson Crews

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