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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Faculty Senate ratifies grad policies

The UA’s Faculty Senate ratified policy changes for undergraduate students, simplifying graduation requirements on Monday.

Undergraduate grad options

Students will be able to change their academic catalogue year without affecting their graduation time.

“”In most cases they have to change their catalogue to whatever is in place when they join a new program. In many cases it sets them back. In some cases it’s a serious impediment,”” said George Gehrels, geosciences professor and undergraduate council chair.

Students who change catalogues can have new general education requirements, and sometimes classes already taken will not count toward graduation.

Ralph Renger, associate professor of public health for the department of community environment and policy, was skeptical of the idea.

“”It sounds like a logistical nightmare,”” he said. “”How can you be confident that this won’t overburden our system? I get the flexibility of the system for students, but sounds like it will be quite expensive.””

Celeste Pardee, an associate in the curriculum office of the Office of Academic Affairs and Faculty Senate audience member, assured the senate that the new UA software, PeopleSoft, has the program built in already so there is “”no additional work.””

Transfer students

California transfer students will be able to satisfy general education coursework from their IGETC classes. IGETC, intersegmental general education transfer curriculum, classes are the California equivalent to the Arizona general education curriculum.

The senate voted unanimously to allow unconditional admission for IGETC transfer students.

“”This is a good recruitment tool,”” Pardee said. “”Just as we handle our own in state students who meet AGEC (Arizona general education curriculum) requirement we extend this to our California students interested in transferring. This will not be a lowering of our standard in any way, shape or form.””

Some senators expressed concern for admitting more out-of-state students.

“”For many years the policy was to run out-of-state students to 30 percent. They relaxed that to 40 percent two years ago. We’re still well away from that 40 percent and any numbers here will not jeopardize that.””

UA budget

UA President Robert Shelton tried to set a positive mood before discussing the university budget.

The UA was the only Arizona school to submit faculty salary as a No. 1 budget priority for this year, Shelton said.

Shelton has been working with deans and department heads to see which faculty members are most at risk for leaving and developing strategies to keep them.

“”We want to suppress the culture that you need to get an offer from somewhere else to get a pay raise here,”” Shelton said.

Parker Antin, professor of cell biology and anatomy and College of Science representative, asked what budget constraints looked like in the future.

The UA had $100 million cut from its budget last year, though $80 million was offset through consolidating budgets, colleges, programs, putting in a hiring freeze, laying off more than 400 people and raising tuition.

“”We’re hoping to plug the rest with stimulus funds,”” Shelton said.

When asked how Northern Arizona University was able to raise salaries, Shelton cited the vast differences among the three Arizona universities.

“”NAU offered a one-time buy out for faculty and staff so they gave a one-time payment, 80 percent of base salary, if people would retire,”” he said. “”The complexities are who gets the raises?””

Graduate students

Emily Connally, president of Graduate and Professional Student Council, nodded in agreement when Shelton spoke about graduate teaching assistant hours.

“”We put money into reducing the load of teaching assistants down to something closer to the national average,”” Shelton said. “”We’re way above, and we’re trying to get back down to the national average.””

The president’s office allocated $3 million to this problem.

“”$1 million went out this fall, and as far as I know it’s already helping a lot of the departments, the English department in particular. They hired adjunct professors so people who would be teaching three classes only have to teach one right now,”” Connally said. “”We’re all really appreciative.””

Connally told the senate about GPSC’s plan to discuss the movements on campus, how daily decisions are made and what graduate students need in order to graduate on time.

She also mentioned special elections taking place at the end of the month and encouraged faculty members to let their research students know about the October showcase.

ASUA

Emily Fritze reported on UAVotes 2010’s goal to register 3,000 students to vote before the mid-term election.

“”We also have at least one campaign debate potentially,”” said Fritze, Associated Students of the University of Arizona president. “”We’ll be collaborating with other groups on campus for voting and election education.””

Murmurs of approval washed over the room after Fritze announced ASUA Senate’s new live streaming of its meetings.

“”If you ever have spare time, and I know you all have so much of it, you can log onto the ASUA website and take a look at our meeting,”” Fritze said.

Athletics

Greg Byrne presented the new classroom attendance policy for student-athletes on campus.

Byrne, UA’s athletic director, said athletes who had three unexcused absences would receive a written warning. More than three unexcused absences would result in loss of playing time.

He also explained Ingrid Novodvorsky’s mid-game football physics lesson at Saturday’s game.

“”We’re doing a thing during the middle of the game called ‘Physics on football’ on jarring hits. A break down on physics perspectives creates and bridges a connection to what we’re doing,”” Byrne said. “”At previous schools we were getting science teachers saying, ‘Hey can we show that?’ It’s a learning opportunity and a great marketing opportunity.””

“”I like this guy,”” said Michael Ossipov a pharmacology research professor, on Byrne’s science-athletics combination.

 

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