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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Shelton sits down with Wildcat

    Serving the state of Arizona by raising admissions standards and maintaining a breadth of educational programs is the UA’s primary responsibility, incoming president Robert Shelton told members of the Arizona Daily Wildcat opinions board yesterday morning.

    Shelton, the provost of the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, is in Tucson this week to meet with various governing bodies and leaders.

    When asked about the possibility of the UA offering differential tuition, Shelton said the concept is becoming more widespread across the nation.

    “”This is probably a sign of things to come,”” he said.

    The key to differential tuition would be to couple financial aid with increases so students aren’t scared away, Shelton said.

    Differential tuition, when modestly applied, would be the right thing to do, he said.

    As far as the UA increasing admissions standards, Shelton said there are many things to consider, such as the different missions of the three Arizona universities and the need to serve the students of the state well.

    “”I think Likins has it right when he says we shouldn’t be big,”” Shelton said.

    Merit-based financial aid will help build the class of the UA and also serve students, Shelton said, and is something that should be looked at quantitatively.

    With increasing admissions standards, the university has to keep the Arizona population in mind as well, he said.

    “”In serving the state, you also have to be sure you are serving the university population of the state,”” he said.

    Shelton said if admission standards were raised, one of his goals would be not to change the nature and feel of what it is like to be a student at the UA.

    “”I think it’s a good idea, but has to be approached very cautiously and very sensitively,”” he said.

    When asked about the hot topic of Focused Excellence in regard to retention of humanities and liberal arts students, Shelton said the problem is common.

    The strength of the UA is two-fold, Shelton said, and he was attracted to the UA because of the breadth of its strong programs.

    The university needs to pick certain areas to focus on without knocking the others down, Shelton said.

    One way to support the humanities is to give funding to libraries rather than purchase expensive scientific equipment.

    Shelton said he will play a major role in fundraising to the UA by directly communicating with donors himself.

    In terms of fundraising from the government, Shelton said the state of Arizona needs a robust system of higher education and legislators need to understand that.

    Shelton said he will communicate to legislators that contributing to higher education is for the common good of the state, because ultimately college graduates become net contributors to the success of the state.

    “”You don’t bring employers here unless people are educated,”” he said.

    He said he looks forward to building a strong and healthy relationship with student government, especially concerning tuition proposals because student input is paramount.

    “”It doesn’t mean all students will be happy with the result,”” Shelton said. “”Students are a complicated group of people.””

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