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Students upset over new MIS advanced standing policy

By Audrey DeAnda
Arizona Daily Wildcat,
September 29, 1999

UA students said they are outraged at the recent announcement that the university's MIS department will have to turn students away because of funding cuts and staff shortage.

The Management Information Systems department normally admits about 200 students into their advanced standing program each semester. With the combination of more students and less faculty members, the department will reduce the spring semester's admissions to a maximum of 100 students.

MIS junior Mary Wosmali said the department should have announced the new requirements a long time ago.

"When I came here a year ago, they were encouraging us to go MIS," Wosmali said. "So, okay, I'll make my major MIS and I find out they're not going to let us in."

Department advisers suggested that she choose a second major, just in case she can't get into the advanced program.

"I'm paying to go here and I expect to get the major I want," Wosmali said. "I had a week to choose a back-up major that would be for the rest of my life."

MIS professor Hsinchun Chen said the department had 18 faculty members and 400 undergraduates four or five years ago. Now, the department has 1,200 undergraduates and only 14 faculty members, he said.

"I guess the problem has been we've been trying to do more for less," Chen said.

He added that the university is set on evenly distributing the resources among all academic colleges. The university will eventually give the Eller College of Business and Public Administration more money, Chen said, but the college is in need of it now.

"The university is not putting forth the resources," Chen said.

He said students with advanced standing are not getting the classes they want and are being put on waiting lists.

"Students are complaining because they're not getting into classes," Chen said. "Our only option is to decrease the (amount of students). Once we cut down the number of students, the problem will be alleviated."

Business sophomore Michael Robbins said he thinks the students were misled.

"Basically, once a student has entered the college, it's understood once they achieve advanced standing they can enter any department they want to," Robbins said. "We have all these people who have been doing this, now (the department) pulled the rug out from underneath us."

Robbins said students who have not yet declared MIS as their major are not guaranteed to be admitted into the department, even if they get advanced standing.

"For the past two years it was understood as long as I made advanced standing, I'd have no problem getting into MIS," he said.

Robbins said students this semester are given two chances to apply for advanced standing. Beginning next semester, students will only be given one opportunity, he said.

Joseph Turso, an MIS and finance junior who has already earned advanced standing, said he understands why the college's faculty members are leaving the department.

"I really can't fault anyone for leaving," Turso said. "In the outside world, faculty members can get a whole lot more money than professors, and in this day and age, cash runs people's lives."

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