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By Craig Anderson
Arizona Daily Wildcat
February 6, 1998

Students should come first, UA prof. says

Faculty, staff and administrators should make students the main focus at the UA, a university history professor said Wednesday in a noontime lecture.

"Often, regrettably, students are not at the top of priorities, but at the bottom," said Richard Cosgrove, who has taught history at the University of Arizona for more than 30 years.

Cosgrove gave a Building Academic Community Speaker Series lecture titled, "And Now for Something Completely Different: Reflections on Three Decades of UA Students," to about 100 listeners in Gallagher Theatre.

Students, Cosgrove said, are the common link between all staff, faculty and administration.

He said that because students attend the university only temporarily, they often do not get the personal attention they deserve.

"We want students to come here, but we also want them to go - preferably with a degree, " Cosgrove said.

Since he began teaching at the UA in 1967, students have made a wide range of achievements, he said.

Cosgrove said he takes a personal interest in each of his students. He read to the audience names of former students from his 1967-68 grade book and noted the careers and accomplishments they went on to.

Cosgrove said he has noticed no decline in student achievement in the last 30 years.

"Students still come determined to get an education," he said.

Cosgrove said university officials should not apply big-business models to the UA.

"To apply statistical, quantitative standards to the university is wrong," he said.

It is the quality of education and the sense of community, Cosgrove said, that count.

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