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MIS majors' advanced standing secure


Wildcat File Photo
Arizona Daily Wildcat

James LaSalle, chairman of the MIS undergraduate curriculum committee

By Erin Mahoney
Arizona Daily Wildcat,
October 12, 1999

MIS majors seeking advanced standing at the UA won't face enrollment cutbacks this semester, but future applicants may face stricter enrollment guidelines.

About 120 University of Arizona students applied for Management Information Systems advanced standing this semester, said Mark Zupan, dean of the Karl Eller College of Business and Public Administration.

All students who meet the required grade point average and prerequisite classes will be admitted.

"There will be some denials, but they will be based on those standards," Zupan said. "Fewer people ended up applying (this semester)."

Last month, MIS officials - prompted by faculty and funding problems - announced that the number of students accepted for advanced standing would be reduced, leaving several dozen students scrambling for classes.

MIS junior Leigh Anne Gallagher said she was relieved to hear that all qualified students will be admitted.

"It's wonderful if no one's going to be left out," Gallagher said. "Everyone is going to be able to pursue what they want to pursue."

James LaSalle, chairman of the MIS undergraduate curriculum committee, said he is "positively relieved" that qualified students will be granted advanced standing.

"I feel really good from the student perspective that we were able to accommodate the students who applied," LaSalle said. "I don't want to cheat anybody pursuing a career in MIS."

Zupan said although the MIS department escaped conflict this year, the college is developing a stricter application process for all BPA majors seeking advanced standing.

Zupan said the new program would require students to submit a resume, essay and attend an interview, in addition to completing the prerequisite classes and maintaining a 2.75 GPA.

"We'd like to look at not just a person's analytical skills, but also their motivation and interpersonal skills," Zupan said.

LaSalle, also an MIS professor, said the new application process is necessary.

"I think we need some kind of application process to manage our enrollment," he said.

Zupan said the college is also looking to develop a business minor to better accommodate students who can't satisfy advanced standing requirements.

"We're going to try and compensate them with the new business minor," Zupan said.

The new procedures could be implemented as early as next semester, pending approval from BPA faculty and UA officials, Zupan said.

LaSalle said he hopes the college waits until 2001 or 2002 before changing the guidelines.

"We do have an obligation to students who are currently enrolled," he said. "We need to give them plenty of advanced notice."

Gallagher said the new procedures are a good thing, but she would like to see students informed long before they are implemented.

"You have to set forth the rules at the beginning of the game," she said. "I hope the class that follows us doesn't go through such a traumatic experience."

Zupan said the new procedures are necessary to deal with understaffed courses and high demand.

UA's BPA college has lost 33 of 115 faculty members while facing a 10 to 20 percent increase in enrollment since 1989, Zupan said.

LaSalle said the UA needs to become more aware of the funding problems facing the MIS department.

"Maybe this (issue) needs to be more publicized," he said.

He added that the department has learned from the restricted enrollment scare.

"We need to keep students informed... so they can plan appropriately," he said. "There has to be a strong communication between faculty and students in terms of what the problems are."

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