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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Architecture college fights back against sweep

    Architecture college fights back against sweep

    After the UA instituted its Oct. 16 salary sweep, funds were taken from colleges around the university and transferred into a central pool. This week, one college decided to fight back.

    The UA collected more than $10,000 last week from the College of Architecture and Landscape Architecture’s discretionary account, funds meant to be used by the college to cover costs associated with lab equipment, scholarships and guest lecture series.

    Shortly after the fund transfer, college administrators gathered to figure out how to get their money back, said Janice Cervelli, dean of the College of Architecture and Landscape Architecture.

    Cervelli filed a request to the university Tuesday to reclaim the college’s funds, a request she said she is confident UA administrators will grant.

    The seizing of the discretionary account hit a special nerve with members of the college, as the funds were originally gathered via differential tuition that began three years ago, said Chuck Albanese, former dean of the college.

    The salary sweep is especially unnerving for Albanese, as he gave students his word, when the differential tuition began, that the money would come back to the students in very specific forms. Now the honor of his word may be in jeopardy, he said.

    “”It bothers me a great deal,”” Albanese said. “”I put my name on the line.””

    The differential tuition is particularly close to Albanese’s heart. When he was pushing for students to pass the tuition measure in 2005, he personally explained the situation to each class and took a vote. No students voted against the differential tuition, he said.

    The measure was not without certain conditions: 15 percent of the money was to be withheld, while 15 percent would go to applied scholarships. Ten percent was diverted into a dean’s account solely for student priority, and other portions of the money would go toward such services as technical support, licenses and fund replenishment of lab tools, Albanese said.

    Some students were skeptical that the money would go where Albanese told them it would. While Albanese convinced them not to entertain such doubts, such reservations have resurfaced over the past few weeks – a prospect that highly disturbs Albanese.

    “”If I was the sitting dean, I would have great trouble going to the students,”” he said. “”They have every reason and right to be upset.””

    The students’ frustration is spreading around the college, and architecture students feel like the UA is trying to break a promise that was made to them three years ago, said Carlos Vasquez, an architecture junior.

    “”I’m pretty upset. (The money) was just taken from us,”” he said. “”That’s our money. People think this is bullshit.””

    Even if the college successfully regains its funds, they realize there is a long road ahead in the UA Transformation, Cervelli said.

    “”We’re in extraordinary times now,”” she said.

    As the college works to secure they money, they are not concerned that the situation could create a rift between students paying the differential tuition and the college’s staff, said Andy Malanowski, president of the UA chapter of the American Institute of Architecture Students.

    “”The college had nothing to do with (the sweep),”” he said. “”I don’t see how the university could have taken it in the first place.””

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