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Editorial: Business College screenings misguided

Arizona Daily Wildcat,
March 28, 2000
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Last week, around two hundred students were told that they weren't good enough to be in the business college. In an attempt to build a reputation for exclusivity, the college has begun to screen candidates before they are allowed upper-division standing. In this, the business college has a reasonable goal: small class sizes. However, there are other ways to reach this end.

Just like any other college, small class sizes are important for the business college. However, the business college has found itself in a particular crunch over the past few years, as it has become known as one of the better colleges in the nation. This standing attracts more students, and the college finds itself overcrowded. To some colleges, this would seem an enviable situation, but it can bring serious problems to an administration that is caught unprepared.

Over the course of the last few years, the business college has been trying to establish itself as a top business school. In a very real way, exclusionary practices are seen as a method to accomplish this. The best schools are the most exclusionary, and so the most exclusionary are seen as the best. Instead of becoming exclusionary after being the best, the college of business has reversed the process. This approach is backwards.

One possible solution would involve the greater utilization of the college's extensive corporate sponsorship. Already, many of the rooms in McClelland Hall bear the signs of sponsorship. Students can take classes in the Coca-Cola room, or the Caterpillar classroom. Already, the college prides itself on partnerships with local businesses, and there is no reason why these partnerships could not be extended. In this situation, both sides receive something of value. The businesses receive qualified candidates for positions that are willing to work for low wages. The college receives, to be short, money.

There are two possible ways to reduce class sizes. The first is the way the college has been pursuing: decreasing the number of students. The second, and more reasonable way, is to increase the number of classes. Of course, this involves increasing the number of faculty; but there are ways to go about this. With the college's sterling reputation, recruitment shouldn't be too great a problem. Certainly, faculty members cost money, but with the aid of corporate sponsors, they should be able to overcome this difficulty. If UA President Peter Likins can raise nearly half a billion dollars from alumni, the business college shouldn't have any difficulty raising sufficient funds to hire a few new professors, especially at the low rates paid at our university.

Forcing students through an interview process is, simply, a way to decrease enrollment. Excluding nearly 30% of eligible students is not the way to go. Already, these students have spent two years taking basic courses in the college. Shutting them out of the college in the name of exclusivity is a blatant attempt to sacrifice the obligation to current students in order to recruit new students.

Few options are open to students that don't make the cut. They can either transfer to another college, and lose up to two years of classwork, or they can wait, and try again next year. Those students brave enough to attempt the latter option would be forced to waste a year, not able to take the upper-division classes that they would need to graduate on time.

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