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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


2011: A year in review

Robert Alcaraz
Robert Alcaraz/ Arizona Daily Wildcat Eugene Sander, UA President, speaks about his role of improving the overall environment of the university on Wednesday, Aug. 24, 2011. Sander was longtime agriculture dean before being named the interim president.

Administrative exodus

In addition to the president and provost, other players in the UA administration also left this year and were replaced. Jaime Gutierrez, interim vice president for external relations, replaced Stephen MacCarthy, who had held the position for four and a half years. Gutierrez served as associate vice president for community relations and oversaw neighborhood and government relations before replacing MacCarthy. Keith Humphrey is the new dean of students and assistant vice president of Student Affairs for the UA. Before taking on his new role, he led Career Services, Transfer Student Services, leadership programs and other areas. He replaced Carol Thompson, who held the position beginning in 2006. J. Lyle Bootman, senior vice president for Health Sciences and dean of the College of Pharmacy, replaced Dr. William Crist, who came to the UA in 2008. Crist oversaw the merger between University Medical Center and the University Physicians Hospital.

Tenure review qualms

On March 4, College of Medicine Dean Steven Goldschmid abruptly terminated the tenure review of Nick Delamere, head of the physiology department. Faculty members were not consulted on this decision. On March 31, physiology faculty members wrote to Wanda Howell, chair of the UA Faculty Senate, saying that the Shared Governance Memorandum of Understanding was violated. The memorandum states that UA administration and faculty should work together before making significant policy changes, which include the selection and retention of a department head. On June 9, the Shared Governance Review Committee recommended that former UA President Robert Shelton restart Delamere’s review, and on June 21, Allison Vaillancourt, vice president of human resources, conducted a new review of Delamere, which was completed on Aug. 19. Delamere was then reappointed as dean for the current fiscal year on Oct. 14. He has been reappointed every year since 2006.

Dorm renovations and openings

Coronado Residence Hall was closed during the summer to undergo renovations for the first time in 18 years. The 45-year-old residence hall is being revamped to update mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems as well as to renovate bathrooms. The general structure of the building will remain the same, but common spaces in rooms will be increased and certain amenities, like ironing boards, will be eliminated. Coronado will be closed for the duration of this academic year.

Two new dorms, Árbol de La Vida Residence Hall and Likins Hall, opened on campus this year. Árbol de la Vida is an honors dorm that has many sustainability features such as roof-mounted solar panels to provide hot water and low-flow water fixtures, including showerheads, faucets and dual-flush toilets. Likins Hall, named after former UA President Peter Likins, also focuses on sustainability — it was constructed of recycled building materials and has thermostats in each room to determine when the room is empty to reduce energy consumption.

ASUA elections controversy

Associated Students of the University of Arizona elections were derailed when both presidential candidates, Daniel Hernandez and James Allen, were disqualified from the race on March 9 due to excess campaign violations. The then-Elections Commissioner, Michael Colletti, said both candidates had exceeded the maximum of 10 election violation checks permissible under the ASUA Elections Code. Both Hernandez and Allen appealed Colletti’s decision to the ASUA Supreme Court, and Hernandez was later reinstated to the race. However, since Allen had received the most votes in the general election, both candidates proceeded to a special election. Three new candidates, Jesse Gunsch, Robert Rosinski and Myles Tacher, joined them. In the end, Allen won by almost exactly the same margin he had before, and was named the ASUA president on April 22, more than a month after the end of the general election.

Jan. 8 shooting

A mass shooting at a “Congress on Your Corner” event in northwest Tucson left six dead, including federal Judge John Roll, and 13 wounded, including Democratic Rep. Gabrielle Giffords.

Giffords, who was shot in the head and critically wounded, was rushed to University Medical Center. Classes were delayed and numerous officials, including President Barack Obama, Gov. Jan Brewer, Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano and Attorney General Eric Holder, arrived for an event titled “Together We Thrive: Tucson and America” to honor the victims of the shooting.

Jared Loughner, the accused gunman, was arrested on the scene, but was deemed mentally unfit to stand trial by federal Judge Larry Burns on May 25, though Burns later ruled that Loughner could, with treatment, become competent. Loughner faces a total of 49 charges, and has pleaded not guilty to all of them.

Giffords continues to recover from her injury, and has made several public speaking appearances in recent weeks. Her husband, Mark Kelly, spoke at Centennial Hall on Tuesday to discuss his and Gifford’s new book, “Gabby: A Life of Hope and Courage.”

Tuition raised at UA

The Arizona Board of Regents raised UA tuition by $1,500 for in-state students on the main campus and $600 for out-of-state students during a long deliberation at its April meeting.

For this year, in-state students were given a $750 rebate funded by UA reserve money to lessen the burden of the increases. The hikes brought in-state tuition and mandatory fees for students on the main campus to $9,285 and tuition and mandatory fees for non-resident students to $24,574. After the tuition proposals were released, the board heard testimonials from students and community members about the impact of tuition increases in the weeks prior to the meeting. Tuition was raised at all three state universities.

UA loses president, provost

On June 13, former UA President Robert Shelton announced his departure from the UA to become executive director of the Fiesta Bowl and left the UA on Aug. 1. Shelton began his presidency in 2006.

The Arizona Board of Regents named Eugene Sander, the then-dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, as interim president. The board is in the process of searching for a new president and has held several town hall-style meetings throughout the state. A new president is expected to be named next spring or early summer.

Former UA Provost Meredith Hay also left the university when she took a position with the regents as the special adviser to the board’s chair for strategic initiatives. Hay will remain on the UA payroll until her contract expires.

Jacqueline Lee Mok is serving as interim provost. A provost search will not begin until a new president is named.

Biggest UA grant ever

The OSIRIS-REx team, headed by deputy principal investigator Dante Lauretta, garnered the largest grant in UA history, securing $800 million from NASA. Lauretta’s team will design the space explorer which will bring back at least two ounces of dust from an asteroid that scientists believe could have brought minerals to Earth that made it habitable when it was forming 4 billion years ago.

After receiving the grant in June, the OSIRIS-REx team moved into a new office and started working with national and international companies to take the final steps before producing the space explorer. UA Lunar and Planetary Laboratory is heading the spacecraft project, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center is managing it, Lockheed Martin(the group that built the Phoenix Mars Lander) will build and command it and KinetX will navigate it.

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