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By Jennifer M. Fitzenberger
Arizona Daily Wildcat
October 8, 1997

AIC gives away $8,500 full scholarship in radio promotion

Despite rampant speculation about its future as an independent branch of the UA, the Arizona International Campus of the UA has been running a series of radio contest ads offering a full, four-year scholarship to the winner.

The campus, which has partnered with 94.9 MIX FM to host the "Great Arizona Mind Find Contest," will give a four-year tuition scholarship worth about $8,500 to the contestant who gives the most creative answer to the on-air question, "How do you cool off Tucson in the summertime?" said Lucian Spataro, associate to the president at AIC.

The contest began in September and the last day to enter the contest is Friday and the winner will be notified by phone Oct. 15.

Spataro said AIC's entire ad campaign, which will change come January or February 1999, will not be significantly different next year if AIC is moved to UA's main campus.

The Arizona Board of Regents last month discussed moving the branch campus, which has faced budget restraints and an enrollment shortage, on or adjacent to UA's main campus next summer.

"The ad campaign will be very similar to what we have now because we will have the same academic program," he said. "Our location will change, but the structure will stay the same."

Spataro said the scholarship is just one component of a 40-page branch campus marketing process including billboards, TV and newspapers.

Although AIC has about $180,000 of its $2.2 million 1998 fiscal year moneys set aside for advertisement, the scholarship contest will not solicit state funds, said Dave Gnage, the branch campus' senior officer for finance and administration.

He said since AIC recently adopted a foundation, which will raise money and promote the institution, it is too soon to tell how much private money will roll in.

Anonymous donors, however, have already committed to fund the grand prize.

AIC freshman Devin Simmons said the contest would draw students to the branch campus because it is a unique idea.

"It (the contest) is original and so is AIC," he said. "People do (participate in) contests all the time."

Spataro said AIC, which runs hundreds of ads per day through different mediums, also buys advertisement radio time from both 92.1 KFMA and 96.1 KLPX.

Joe Viramontes, commercial traffic director for KFMA, said AIC has advertised with his radio station since mid-May.

"AIC is rotating 10 to 12 different commercials right now," he said, adding they are played every couple of hours.

Viramontes said the 60-second ads feature AIC students talking about the campus' convenience and the importance of technology.

Each 60-second slot, he said, costs $30 to $50.

The contest itself was criticized Monday by a member of the University of Arizona Faculty Senate who said no more money should be "wasted" on AIC.

"I was so appalled by it (the campaign) that I wrote it down," said Sen. Miklos Szilagyi, an electrical and computer engineering professor. "I don't know why so many millions of dollars must be wasted before we realize that it (AIC) is a mistake."

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