Expansions still threaten students looking for BPA advanced standing
Some students seeking advanced standing in the UA's overcrowded business college may face enrollment cutbacks in the future, officials said yesterday.
"May is the key word here," said Lee Beach, vice dean of the Karl Eller College of Business and Public Administration. "The sky is not falling."
In recent years, as many as 1,100 students have applied for advanced standing, but officials can only accommodate about 800 to 900 students next semester, Beach said.
He said that an increasing interest in business majors coupled with an insufficient number of faculty members has caused the future limit.
"It (enrollment) has been consistently higher than we needed it to be," Beach said.
He said limiting the number of advanced standing students will help alleviate overcrowding problems within upper division classes.
"No one ever gives a thought to the poor folks who get in and can't get out," he said.
In order to gain advanced standing, students must maintain a 2.75 grade point average, complete prerequisites, write an essay, attend an interview and provide a resum. Without advanced standing, students can't enroll in upper division classes and complete a degree.
Beach said freshmen were informed of the enrollment limit upon entering the university, but sophomore students were given a different set of requirements during their orientations.
"We're going to be very careful with sophomores," Beach said. "We're going to try very hard to honor that."
The business college has plans to help students who can't attain advanced standing, including expanding several economics programs outside the college and creating "a really beautiful minor," Beach said.
Mark Zupan, dean of the college, said there could be "fairly minor" cutbacks in enrollment. But if the university continues to grow, the college may have to make more substantial cuts.
Despite efforts to help students deal with the cutoff, UA business alumnus Jim Massey said he is disappointed by the recent turn of events.
"They're trying to screw things up over there, is what they're trying to do," said Massey, who said he works regularly with UA business faculty. "It sounds like their long-range objective is to get rid of undergraduates altogether. I think it's a damn shame."
Beach said Massey's allegation is untrue.
"It's so wrong, I can't even begin to tell you how wrong that is," he said. "The undergraduate program is our flagship program. It's the focal point of our concern."
Some students are less concerned than Massey.
Colin Shedd, president of the Business and Public Administration Student Council, said the new procedures are a mixed blessing.
"It's going to be frustrating for a lot of people applying (next semester)," said Shedd, a business economics senior. "In the long run, it will make the business college more competitive."
Dwight Maloney, an Associated Students senator and business management sophomore, said the situation is unfortunate, but officials have no other options.
"I'm not saying it's a good thing at all," said Maloney, who will be applying for advanced standing next semester. "They (BPA officials) are in a really hard situation and they're coping with it as best they can."
Finance professor Tom Moses said the college made incoming freshmen aware of these restrictions during orientation.
"We pointed this out very strongly," Moses said.
Moses said he was undecided on whether the restrictions would be beneficial.
"I think if we keep emphasizing this, they (students) will strive to do better and be better qualified," he said. "(But) that kind of bothers me, that we're going to eliminate some students who might turn out to be quite good professionally."