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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


“Faculty Senate Approves Merger of Schools, Among Other Things”

The merging of different campus entities into two new schools was approved by the Faculty Senate on Monday.

President Robert Shelton was not present at the meeting, so the floor was given to Provost Meredith Hay.

Hay said the university’s budget is continuously being discussed with the Arizona Board of Regents, especially regarding tuition increases for the 2012 school year and the reallocation costs.

Vice Provost Gail Burd proposed the formation of the School of Mathematical Sciences, which would combine the Department of Mathematics with the Graduate Interdisciplinary Applied Mathematics and Statistics Programs.

“”The goal is (that) these entities remain intact as separate entities, but come together,”” Burd said.

Burd added that the combination of programs would be beneficial to national ranking and create greater educational, grant and service opportunities.

The request, which was passed, does not change the structure of any programs within the school, nor will it require any additional resources.

Burd then introduced a proposal for the academic re-organization of the Schools of Theatre Arts and Media Arts into one School of Theatre, Film and Television.

The merger, which the Faculty Senate also approved, comes as an “”effort to save some resources after budget cuts,”” Burd said. “”There will be no change to academic programs, but it will possibly facilitate new majors.””

The current director of the School of Theatre Arts, Bruce Brockman, will remain the director of this new school. A new set of bylaws will be written this fall to determine how the School of Theatre, Film and Television will function.

“”I think it’s very exciting, there’s a lot of overlap,”” Burd said. “”The students will be trained in a variety of disciplines that they might not have had before.””

Brockman said the combination of schools makes sense because the line between theatre and film is blurring.

“”We have L.A. casting directors and Broadway here recruiting our students,”” he said.

Some in the Faculty Senate are worried about budget adjustments and that their pay might be affected.

During the meeting, Hay was asked, “”What signs should employees look for that IOUs are coming? How much warning will people be given?””

Hay responded that they have nothing to worry about right now.

“”We don’t anticipate (IOUs) because we have been very conservative in our spending and budget,”” Hay said. “”We have stopped spending and we’re in a hiring freeze.””

Hay said she doesn’t think this problem will occur, but if it does, she cannot be sure how it will play out.

Also, a change in the Faculty Constitution now states, “”Emeritus faculty shall have voting privileges in the first five years of Emeritus status, which will be extended for additional five-year periods at the request of the individual faculty member.””

According to Secretary of the Faculty Senate J.C. Mutchler, “”This keeps people voting who are interested and not those that have rolled off the map.””

Mutchler says a very small percentage of Emeritus faculty actually vote.

The meeting ended with a presentation and discussion of a possible comprehensive faculty evaluation by Sen. Elena Plante and Academic Personnel Policy Committee Chairman Larry Aleamoni.

These new faculty evaluations will allocate point values in different areas, such as attending a workshop or having a guest speaker in a class.

“”These point values communicate to pre-tenured faculty about what steps are most important to becoming tenured,”” Plante said.

The Faculty Senate will come up with the actual model of these evaluations, giving minimum and maximum percentage weights to areas departments need to focus on, such as research and teaching.

“”We’ve imposed this on ourselves because it’s not fair for some to work less than others and get paid a full salary,”” Plante said.

She says in her experience these evaluations help employees to understand what is important for them to do to receive grants and move up to become tenured.

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