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State of the UA: Hart outlines how the university is performing

UA+President+Ann+Weaver+Hart+addresses+the+ABOR+at+the+UA+Student+Union+on+Thursday%2C+Nov.+19.+Her+speech+covered+many+topics+which+would+head+off+the+days+discussions.
Tom Price
UA President Ann Weaver Hart addresses the ABOR at the UA Student Union on Thursday, Nov. 19. Her speech covered many topics which would head off the day’s discussions.

President Ann Weaver Hart spoke Thursday morning during the Nov. 19 Arizona Board of Regents meeting regarding UA student enrollment, retention, degrees awarded and overall university progress.

Hart began her address speaking about enrollment growth and expected enrollment rates at the UA.

Undergraduate enrollment currently totals at 33,732 students, which exceeds the projected number of 33,180 students by 552 students for the 2020 plan, according to Hart’s report.

Along with growth in undergraduate enrollment for the 2015-2016 academic year, Hart reported an eight-point increase in average SAT scores for the most recent freshman class.

With a rise in undergraduate students, there was also a 48 percent increase in international student enrollment and a 5 percent increase in minority enrollment for this academic year, as reported by Hart.

“We are a very diverse community with a very diverse population,” Hart said on expanding the diversity of the UA campus.

Graduate and professional enrollment is currently at 9,356 for the 2015-2016 year, with a projected enrollment of 11,048 for the upcoming academic year.

Overall student enrollment for the current year also exceeded the expected numbers and is projected to increase further with the 2025 plan.

For this academic year, UA enrollment for both graduate and undergraduate students is recorded at 43,088—a 268-student increase from the projected enrollment for the 2015-2016 academic year.

Hart expects an increase of over 20,000 students in comparison to current enrollment, with 64,250 students attending the UA by 2025.

Additionally, Hart reported an increase of total degrees awarded in comparison to the projected amount awarded for the 2014-2015 academic year.

The UA awarded 6,745 bachelors degrees last spring—45 more degrees than the target amount.

Graduate degrees also exceeded previous expectations with 2,695 awarded, compared to 2,576 degrees during the 2013-2014 school year.

By the end of the spring semester, Hart expects the UA to award 6,978 undergraduate degrees and 3,046 graduate degrees.

While UA freshman retention remains at the majority, the report shows a vast difference between resident and non-resident returners.

In-state freshman student retention is recorded at 84.2 percent, while out-of-state freshman retention comes in at 78.2 percent, according to Hart.

Responding to a question posed by Regent Ram Krishna regarding what causes the disparity between in-state and out-of-state retention rates, Hart attributed the difference to the stress of living out of state at a young age.

“It is related to the stresses of going out of state when they are away from home,” Hart said. “Going to college is stressful.”

In regard to student success, Hart reports an increase in various UA programs.

Almost 400 new for-credit and non-credit learning courses are available for UA students, according to Hart. She said that the UA has also seen a 180 percent increase in the Blue Chip Leadership program and a 10 percent increase in jobs offered to graduates by companies who look to Career Services.

While quality expenditure per resident student has decreased, the UA still remains above the median in spending per student researcher.

“The ultimate goal is that Arizona citizens will have bachelors in critical areas in the future,” Hart said.


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