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The Daily Wildcat

 

President Hart to hold first town hall of semester

Kyle+Wasson+%2F++Arizona+Daily+Wildcat%0A%0AUA+President%2C+Anne+Weaver+Hart%2C+speaks+with+community+members+at+her+first-ever+town+hall+meeting%2C+Oct.+31+in+the+Kiva+Room.
Turki Allugman
Kyle Wasson / Arizona Daily Wildcat UA President, Anne Weaver Hart, speaks with community members at her first-ever town hall meeting, Oct. 31 in the Kiva Room.

President Ann Weaver Hart will host an open town hall forum on Friday to answer questions from the UA community regarding the university.

The forum will take place in Roy P. Drachman Hall and will provide students, faculty and staff with the opportunity to address questions directly to Hart. In the past, questions could be submitted prior to the forum. However, this year, the town hall will only be accepting live questions, said J.C. Mutchler, executive director and vice president for the Office of the President and chair of the Strategic Planning and Budget Advisory Committee.

“It’s a chance for the community to one, get to see the president and talk to her, but also to raise any questions that are on their mind,” Mutchler said. “I would expect the president to talk at least a little bit about kind of her vision, as we’re doing a massive kind of strategic planning exercise … and how we’re moving forward on those things.”

Since last fall, SPBAC has been engaged in a campus-wide strategic planning exercise, working with deans and provosts, and is well on its way through, he added.

“We’re actually thinking a lot about the university’s future right now,” Mutchler said.

Performance-based salary increases are another topic that might be raised at the town hall meeting. In an email sent to all UA employees Wednesday, Hart announced that a university-wide salary adjustment pool of $9.1 million has been established. The adjustment will fund “performance-based salary increases for benefits-eligible faculty and staff funded on state and locally allocated budgets.”

The increase, effective July 1, will be the first institution-wide salary increase since 2007, according to the email.

“I hope that this increase will provide an opportunity to reward the many University of Arizona staff and faculty whose work is vital to the success of the university,” Hart said in the email. “This salary increase will be based on clear links between pay and performance, a vital feature of our ability to attract and retain high quality members of our university team.”

Katy Murray, president of the Associated Students of the University of Arizona, said she predicts there will be some questions from attendees about the pay raises, as well as questions about tuition and Hart’s plans for the university for the next year. Murray said this is one of the only times where students, faculty, staff, administration and the community at large can come ask any question they want.

Whether it is a question pertaining to the strategic plan or tuition or just a suggestion, the event is very open in terms of what participants can ask and talk about, Murray added.

“Every single one of these [issues] is something that’s going to affect students, whether it’s our tuition dollars, whether it’s the size of our classes, whether it’s our ability to access different resources and have the same types of resources that a lot of our competitive institutions have,” Murray said. “Really anything and everything that could come up at this meeting is something that will either directly or indirectly affect students.”

During the first town hall forum in October, Murray said the room was packed with people who had questions for the UA president. The attendance spoke volumes about how engaged the campus was in wanting to speak with Hart, Murray said.

“She definitely makes sure that students get called on if they go,” Murray said. “That’s even more of a reason why I hope students would go, is because a lot of times she makes sure that they do have a chance to speak, and so I think she really does value our opinions.”

If you go:

Town Hall Forum with President Hart

Friday, Noon to 1 p.m.

Roy P. Drachman Hall B109

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