Regents meeting at AIC tomorrow

By Trigie Ealey
Arizona Daily Wildcat
December 9, 1996

Arizona Daily Wildcat

Regent Mark Smith


The Arizona Board of Regents will meet tomorrow to discuss issues ranging from proposed changes in non-resident undergraduate tuition waivers, an academic assessment of the Arizona International Campus of the UA and to a report on the performance of resid ent high school students admitted in the fall 1995 semester.

The meeting will be held at AIC and will feature a discussion of the non-resident waivers proposal by Regent Mark Smith that has been delayed repeatedly over the last few months.

The proposal requires undergraduates receiving non-resident waivers to perform 20 hours of community service per semester.

Davis said the changes are not meant to weigh students down.

"It is not meant to put a tremendous burden on students," Davis said. "Many students already work. But if you are receiving something of great value, you have to give something back."

The community service requirement has drawn criticism, however.

Elizabeth Ervin, senior associate director of the University of Arizona's School of Music and Dance, said the workloads of fine arts students in particular do not allow time for volunteer work.

"These students, and I am certain this is true for other majors, spend 14 to 16 hours a day in class or in class- or curriculum-related activities," she said. "They don't have room to breathe, much less work at a soup kitchen."

Ervin said her concern is that the additional requirement is being applied to students who contribute more than they gain from the campus.

"These students are critically important to the quality of education of Arizona students," she said. "You have to admit that what these students bring to campus more than offsets the costs of the waivers. They are academically gifted students who serve as role models for other students."

Davis said his plan is not as bad as some people think. He said music students can perform concerts to complete the requirement.

"What I envision is a simple form to be filled out by the student," he said. "Just get the form, sign it and turn it in."

To keep the waiver, academic merit recipients need a grade point average of 3.5, international students recipients 3.25, and special-talent waiver recipients must maintain a 3.0 GPA.

Alexandro Escamilla, a member of Movimiento Estudiantíl Chicano de Aztlán, said his group plans to speak in opposition to the proposal. He said the group is opposed to the elimination of race-based preferences in the program.

The proposal removes a section of regents policy directing the universities to take into account "students of various groups that historically have been underrepresented in the Arizona university system."

The waivers proposal will be first read at tomorrow's meeting, meaning it must be heard twice more before a final vote is taken.

Also to be discussed is the academic assessment report on AIC. The report contains an outline of the process the new campus will use to track students' academic performance. The outline contains standardized tests, course grades and requirements for stude nts to be graded on presentations made to instructors and peers, and portfolios containing their work such as essays.

The report on the academic performance of Arizona high school students will be reviewed. Because all resident students who fulfill admission requirements must be admitted, some are admitted with academic deficiencies.

Of the fall 1995 class of resident freshmen, those without deficiencies continued to the spring semester with a first semester GPA of 2.7. Of those with deficiencies, 85 percent continued with a 2.0 GPA.

Other issues to be discussed at the Board of Regents meeting on Tuesday include:

The meeting is from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the AIC, in the Science and Technology Park, 9000 S. Rita Road.