Shelton Urges Students to Provide Feedback on Transformation
Students are an important part of the Transformation process and are strongly encouraged to give their feedback on the proposals being considered for reorganization and consolidation, President Robert N. Shelton told students during a town hall last week.
"We're all in this together," Shelton told the approximately 75 students who attended the forum, held Oct. 8 at the Student Union Memorial Center. "Our goal is to make this a better university. Students are the largest component of this university and we need to engage the entire community."
Part of the Transformation Plan process includes looking at how tuition dollars are spent, how class credit units are distributed, whether any programs should be discontinued, and whether there should be changes in the organizational structure of colleges and departments.
Monday was the deadline for University units to submit "white papers," or proposals, to the provost's office. Those proposals are being evaluated by a subcommittee of the Strategic Planning and Budget Advisory Committee, which will make recommendations to the president and provost about which should be pursued.
"Beginning Nov. 4, larger teams will look at the proposals and their structure and make recommendations which will lead to administrative steps to gain endorsement," Shelton told the students. "We will work through these ideas and see what can be implemented this spring. Some recommendations may take a year or two years to implement but we have come to a point where we have to move quickly where we can."
Shelton warned students that tuition likely will increase. "'Tuition is one of the few resources we have but we need to balance that - we don't want that (tuition costs) to result in more people dropping out," Shelton said.
Students asked if the transformation process would be something that undergraduate and graduate students would notice. "Restructuring should have zero effect on what you do," Shelton responded. "At the graduate level we need to ensure that you have a degree with a label that people will understand," Shelton said.
Jose J. Federico, a Latin American Studies senior and student worker at the Chicano Hispano Student Affairs Office, asked if his office would be affected. Shelton responded that he would be foolhardy not to support the individual diverse student population centers. "We won't falter," he said. Â Â
Akenabah Begay, a senior religious studies major, asked if the task force was looking into early graduation for seniors. Shelton responded that time-to-degree was a worrisome issue. "A core goal is to graduate students within four to five years. We need to open as many seats as we can and not compromise on the quality of the class," he said.
Shelton also said he has worked hard to increase salaries for graduate students and would continue to do so.
Both Shelton and Tommy Bruce, the president of the Associated Students of the University of Arizona, urged students to continue providing feedback. Students can contact Bruce at email@example.com.