Contact Us




The Arizona Daily Wildcat Online





News Sports Opinions Arts Classifieds

Wednesday October 4, 2000

Football site
UA Survivor


Police Beat


Wildcat Alum?

AZ Student Media

KAMP Radio & TV


Likins responds to variety of campus concerns

Headline Photo

By Hillary Davis

Arizona Daily Wildcat

Second Town Hall forum brings larger audience, but still draws few students

Few students turned out yesterday for the second of four Campus Town Hall meetings conducted by UA President Peter Likins.

Likins answered questions on topics ranging from educating the public on the role of university faculty members to the feasibility of an all-online university for about 100 primarily faculty and staff in the DuVal Auditorium at the University Medical Center.

Jose Solorzano, president of the University of Arizona Staff Advisory Council, asked how staff members at remote locations - such as the University of Arizona South Campus in Sierra Vista and even the Arizona Health Sciences Center, removed from the main campus just past East Speedway Boulevard - could feel as part of the general campus community.

Likins stressed that geography aside, all employees of the UA system are part of a single intellectual community as well as a single human community.

"Community for me is not just a campus phenomenon," Likins said.

Likins also touched on Proposition 301, an education tax set for next month's ballot. If passed, the state sales tax would increase to 5.6 percent and raise about $440 million annually toward Arizona's public education budget, boosting funds for institutions from elementary schools to college.

Likins said the revenue from the tax is just as important financially as it is symbolically.

"It may not be our financial salvation, but it is our spiritual salvation," Likins said. "It says that the people are with us."

The concept of an online university, which was first broached at last week's Arizona Board of Regents meeting, was also a topic of discussion by the president.

Likins said the success of the online-exclusive option offered by the University of Phoenix - a private university system with campuses in 15 states and Canada - is not necessarily indicative of a national trend toward attending school solely on the Web.

Rather, the University of Phoenix's one-on-one attention toward non-traditional students - many of whom are adults who already hold professional jobs - is what makes the university successful, Likins said.

"The University of Phoenix has had an enormous success without using any electrons at all," he said. "They tapped into a market that we have historically ignored."

Likins said he does not think online universities - or "e-learning" - will ever replace traditional learning.

"I have no fear that what we do as a residential university will become no less valued by society," he said.

Solorzano, who also asked Likins if the answers to questions asked during the meeting would be available for review, said he thinks the town hall forums are useful because they promote brainstorming, eventually leading to solutions.

"This sort of meeting is where ideas are brought up and they begin to be developed," he said.