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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Shelton lauds progress in annual address

    UA President Robert Shelton spoke to the university community in his State of the University address about the future of the UA on Thursday in the Student Union Memorial Center.
    UA President Robert Shelton spoke to the university community in his State of the University address about the future of the UA on Thursday in the Student Union Memorial Center.

    President Robert Shelton gave his second State of the University address Thursday, focusing on where UA is aiming to be and the primary issue it needs to overcome to get there.

    “”Let’s not have any doubts: I know we are all concerned about the budget. There is no question that Arizona and the nation hit economic turbulence this past year, and it will probably be another year before things turn around. But things will turn around,”” Shelton said.

    The transformation process was also mentioned in detail regarding the “”overall strategic priorities”” that, according to Shelton, will strengthen the UA’s standing as the “”premier research university in the American Southwest.””

    However, the majority of the address was devoted to lauding the UA’s recent successes.

    “”When I spoke to you last year, the Phoenix Lander was streaking through space and our fingers were crossed, hoping it could make a soft landing on a distant, alien surface. … What a triumph, what a point of pride for all of us who are part of a university that can make something like that happen.””

    Shelton added that the 6,700 freshmen enrolled is the largest in the university’s history and the incoming freshman class has the highest SAT score average of the three public Arizona universities.

    “”Since 2006, freshman applications have increased by 36 percent, and we are currently ahead of last year’s record pace,”” Shelton said.

    The Arizona Assurance was also mentioned in Shelton’s address as a success, ensuring 600 students who are from low-income families can attend UA.

    Though the speech was primarily focused on the accomplishments of the past year, Shelton said he didn’t want anyone to lose sight of the change occurring on campus.

    “”Will there be challenges? Yes. Will it be tough at times? Yes. But this is the University of Arizona and we can do anything we put our minds to,”” he said.

    Provost Meredith Hay said the speech was excellent.

    “”It speaks to the future, where the university’s going … we have everything in front of us. We have a lot to hope for,”” Hay said.

    Hay added that her goal for the upcoming semester was to ensure students have the classes they need despite budget concerns.

    “”I don’t want the students to see any change in services or the courses if we can. But at the same time, we have to transform how we do business; we have to look at our business practices and try to save as much money as we can and transform our academics to be truly the best in the world going forward.””

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