Shelton, Others Outline Reorganization Process at Faculty Senate
President Robert N. Shelton made an unscheduled visit to Monday's Faculty Senate meeting in part to discuss his planned academic reorganization that he outlined in a campuswide memo last week.
The UA is facing a $20 million budget cut and Shelton is looking to reshape the university in ways that emphasize the institution's strengths. Shelton asked senate members to "think broadly" about the future of the UA.
Four committees are currently collecting information that will be submitted to Provost Meredith Hay by Oct. 1. The administration's goal is to have a new academic structure in place for the 2009-10 academic year, starting next July1.
(Shelton and Hay will discuss the budget today from 8 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. at a Department Heads Town Hall Forum, being held in the Student Union Catalina Room.)
Miranda Joseph, an associate professor of women's studies and the chair of the Strategic Planning and Budget Advisory Committee, or SPBAC, offered a set of guidelines designed to evaluate academic programs. Hay requested the guidelines to assist in prioritizing academic programs for investment, maintenance or budget reduction. Those guidelines include the centrality to the UA's core missions of instruction, research and outreach, present and future demands that benefit Arizona economically, the importance of units to other units on campus, the success of graduates and other productivity measures, the quality of programs, research and faculty, the size needed to recruit and retain faculty and students, and the ratio of state funding to productivity.
Faculty Chair Wanda Howell, a professor of nutritional sciences, said the provost is looking for "big ideas," and that faculty at all levels should be engaged in the process.
The provost's office is currently redesigning its Web page, which will include more specific information about the reorganization process. The new site is expected to go live at the end of the week. Go to http://provost.arizona.edu. SPBAC's Web site is at http://spbac.web.arizona.edu.
Personal Information Sweep
Sylvia Johnson, the UA's information security officer, briefed senate members on new information security initiatives.
Johnson said concerns about identity theft have prompted new legislation and industry responses to address the high costs of repairing breaches.
Large amounts of sensitive information is stored in UA computers. UA employees also are legally required to retain and dispose of records that often contain personal information and penalties can be costly.
A computer breach involving the loss of Social Security numbers, for instance, at $50 per person, could end up totaling in the millions of dollars at a large institution like the UA. New regulations mean that colleges and departments, not central administration, will bear those costs.
She said the UA issued new student identification numbers during the summer to currently enrolled students, which replaced Social Security-based numbers that were often used in class rosters and grade books.
Computer users at the UA are required to protect personal information and securely delete it when no longer needed. While the requirement seems simple, Johnson said, many computer users do not know whether or where their computers contain personal information.
The Information Security Office has partnered with Records Management and Archives and faculty and staff from the colleges of engineering, agriculture and life sciences, and social and behavioral sciences to pilot a "Personal Information Sweep."
The sweep is designed to eliminate or secure accumulated, electronically stored personal information, register computers storing personal information and ensure that computers meet minimum security standards.
This initiative is scheduled to begin Oct. 1. Johnson plans several more presentations on campus this month. More information is available at http://security.arizona.edu.