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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Shelton: More parking soon way

    President Robert Shelton meets with the Staff Advisory Council yesterday afternoon to discuss employee affairs and the future of the UA as it faces new growth. Shelton answered questions posted on the Staff Advisory Council Web site.
    President Robert Shelton meets with the Staff Advisory Council yesterday afternoon to discuss employee affairs and the future of the UA as it faces new growth. Shelton answered questions posted on the Staff Advisory Council Web site.

    The UA plans to add more parking for its increasingly large community, but employees shouldn’t expect a university-wide summer vacation, President Robert Shelton said yesterday at a town hall meeting.

    Shelton met with members of the Staff Advisory Council and fielded questions from online posts left on the Staff Advisory Council Web site.

    Mike Millard, an administrative assistant in the SALT Center, said before the meeting he was concerned with how Shelton would handle the increasing size of the university.

    “”If we are going to grow, and I believe we have to grow … we are going to do this gradually and carefully,”” Shelton said.

    The new president said he wanted to maintain the quality of students accepted to the UA instead of looking at numbers alone.

    Shelton said there are plans to build more garages and surface lots to accommodate more staff, faculty and students on campus.

    Staff members at the meeting offered suggestions about how to ease the parking situation, including a staff-only park-and-ride service and separate parking spots for students and faculty.

    Shelton shut down one online poster’s hopes for a summer recess on campus, similar to the one in winter between Christmas and New Year’s.

    “”I would find it highly unlikely that we would ever close down for a fixed period in the summer,”” Shelton said.

    One online poster wanted to know why Web-based correspondence courses are still full price for staff members, while the costs of on-campus classes are reduced for staff.

    The president said he was baffled by the inconsistency.

    “”It seems to me that if you are taking a class at the UA, and you are a staff member at UA, then you should be getting the same benefits regardless of how it is offered,”” Shelton said.

    Another online poster asked when there would be more staff pay raises, but Shelton said he is unable to make any of those decisions by himself.

    Before any staff members can expect pay raises, the state must provide the UA with more money, which the president said was unlikely at the moment.

    “”Elected officials would rather cut taxes than pay for education, and I think that reflects the general public,”” Shelton said.

    One post thanked the president for his decision to halt the Rainbow Bridge project in downtown Tucson.

    Adam Duckworth, a political science junior and employee of UA Press, said he hoped the president would get a good impression of the classified staff, like those who work at the university press, because he feels that those positions are often overlooked.

    Millard said he was impressed by Shelton’s willingness to get to know the UA community before enacting any big changes.

    “”I know he’s doing a good job of getting himself out there,”” Millard said.

    A recording of the meeting will be posted on the council’s Web site, http://fpnew.ccit.arizona.edu/sac.

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