The Student News Site of University of Arizona

The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


“Honesty is the best policy, Shelton”

President Robert Shelton is scheduled to deliver his State of the University address today at noon in the Grand Ballroom at the Student Union Memorial Center. As stated by UA News, and considering this year’s financial problems, Shelton is expected to talk about the university’s budget struggle.

The UA has endured much in 2009. In January, UA students traveled to the state capitol to protest the projected statewide higher education budget cuts. Active members of the student community encouraged classmates to voice dissatisfaction with these cuts, and many of these individuals believed students shouldn’t face such uncontrollable financial burdens in order to gain access to quality higher education.

Since January, faculty have lost jobs, some students have had to leave the university entirely as a result of tuition increases, departments have changed, course drop fees have been implemented and around 300 faculty poll voters expressed no confidence in Shelton and Provost Meredith Hay. The blogosphere responded to Shelton’s comments and decisions via the UA Defender blog, which stirred up a great deal of controversy on campus.

It hasn’t been an easy year at the UA, and Shelton should recognize this when he speaks today.

If the university is in serious trouble, Shelton should make this clear. He has a duty to be straightforward and honest with the campus community rather than watch students and faculty experience unexpected, drastic changes on campus.

If everyone is screwed, the president should admit it. Warn the UA community that the world is ending. Be dramatic.

Better yet, be explicit, articulate and informative with regard to what is happening and what is expected to happen at this university. That way, when certain classes are canceled, tuition skyrockets and programs are cut, students won’t be so taken aback.

Maybe they’ll even appreciate the truth, as much as it will hurt. In most cases, people would much rather know in advance that they’re about to face adversity than have it sprung upon them. Considering the fact that further cuts are expected, the budget situation is undoubtedly going to continue drop-kicking everyone on campus.

There’s no reason why Shelton should sugarcoat this reality. College students and faculty do not need to be coddled. They need, and deserve, the truth. 

So, President Shelton, please speak the whole truth when you address the university today. If you predict more budget disasters in 2010, let everyone know now and start an honest dialogue for once instead of spouting rhetoric about our future “”world class”” university status.

— Editorials are determined by the opinions board and written by one of its members. They include Shain Bergan, Alex Dalenberg, Laura Donovan and Heather Price-Wright.

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