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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Journalism differential fee on hold

    The proposed $300 fee for journalism juniors and seniors, a result of an enrollment jump, increasing technology costs and faculty shortages, has been deferred until further consultations. The Arizona Board of Regents would have considered the fee at its meeting in November.

    Edward Donnerstein, dean of the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, announced Friday that the college will pay for a new faculty member who would have been supported with differential tuition funds.

    “”Deans are constantly trying to find ways to offset tuition fees for students, and Dr. Donnerstein managed to come up with the funding necessary for the faculty member,”” said James Shockey, associate dean for the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences.

    Shockey said he is not involved in the process of allocating funds for the new journalism faculty member, but estimated that the new assistant professor will earn approximately $60,000.

    Donnerstein was not available to comment.

    The new faculty member will not be hired until 2008, so the funds for the individual’s salary are not immediately necessary, Shockey said.

    “”There is still uncertainty about where the funds will come from, or what our budget will look like, because the addition of a new journalism faculty member is still two years out,”” Shockey said.

    Despite this ambiguity, the college has some funds committed in advance to support the salaries of new faculty, Shockey said.

    “”Retiring faculty members or those who leave the department for other reasons are part of a standard process that free up funds to use on new faculty members,”” said Shockey.

    Adding a new faculty member with the fee money was a major element of this year’s plan, said Jacqueline Sharkey, head of the journalism department.

    But journalism students could still get a fee in the future, and in spring 2007, they will be consulted about how to allocate differential tuition, Sharkey said.

    In addition to more full-time faculty, other possible uses for differential tuition include money for instructional technology, more tech staffing, new courses, maintaining the open computer lab, Sharkey said.

    The regents consider differential tuition fees appropriate when other funds are not available, said Fred Boice, president-elect of the board of regents.

    “”ABOR appropriately sees fit to have students pay differential tuition fees when it is necessary to maintain or enhance a program that provides better career paths for our graduates,”” Boice said.

    Other UA programs, such as engineering and architecture, already have a $300 differential tuition surcharge, while the Eller College of Management recently bumped its differential tuition to $400.

    Erin Turner, a journalism senior, said tuition fees are necessary for the department to remain competitive.

    “”Whether they have a tuition fee now or next semester, students will still have to pay regardless,”” said Turner. “”It is unfortunate that students continue to be affected by these fees, but this is the price of education.””

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