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Campus Briefs

By Arek Sarkissian II & Daniel Scarpinato
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Monday Feb. 4, 2002

Advising reform task force to hear feedback today

The Academic Advising Task Force will formally introduce its recommendations on improving advising from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. today in Room 218 of the Henry Koffler building.

The task force's three-part recommendation will call for improved advising within colleges, installing a central advising hub and upgrading existing advising services.

The task force, born out of tuition negotiations between administrators and student lobbyists last April, has been examining problems in advising for the past several months.

"There's room for strengthening advising," Roxie Catts, co-chair of the task force, said last week. "I'm very pleased that we finally got the attention of the administration."

The task force will accept student feedback at the meeting and then present a final proposal to UA President Likins.

Faculty Senate to discuss raises, merit-based pay for teachers

After months of debate over the distribution of salary increases for university employees, the Faculty Senate is scheduled to discuss pay increases for faculty at its meeting today.

The discussion comes after the University Compensation Advisory Team presented a recommendation to the president that opposed the wishes of the Faculty Senate.

The senate group voted in October to uphold the state Legislature's decision to give all state employees 5 percent or $1,500 across-the-board salary increases - whichever is more. The vote was 23 to 14.

Instead, the 5 percent will be wiped away for faculty, and the increase will be $1,500 across the board, with the opportunity to earn more through merit increases. Other university staff will get five percent increases.

The average salary for a UA faculty member is $60,000. Based on that figure, a $1,500 increase would mean only a 2.5 percent raise.

"Here we have a situation where the state gives a straight 5 percent," said Peter Medine, professor of English. "We get to the faculty and we begin complicating it."

The Arizona Board of Regents voted Friday that it would like to see faculty salary increases be more merit-based and divided up largely on the basis of the college deans' and department head's discretions.

UA President Peter Likins maintains that administrators support the plan because they want to guarantee employees who are paid less than $30,000 a year a substantial increase.

Provost George Davis said at a Faculty Senate meeting in mid-January that the senate's decision was overlooked after UCAT spoke to other faculty who favored a merit-focused system.

The Faculty Senate will meet today at 3 p.m. in the College of Law, Room 140.

Minnesota Mt. Graham protests not an issue, officials say

A proposed $5 million purchase made by the University of Minnesota to share the UA's Mount Graham telescope project will go through despite objections from American Indians in Minnesota, UA sources working with Mount Grahm say.

A group of American Indian activists held a protest at the home of University of Minnesota President Mark Yudof last month to express their opposition to the university's plan to purchase a share of the Mount Graham telescope project.

Mount Graham is located in the Pinaleno Mountains about 75 miles northeast of Tucson.

Buddy Powell, associate director of the Steward Observatory, said the protest will in no way affect the purchase being made by UM.

Protesters said the mountain on which the telescopes were built is sacred to the Apache tribe and that UA's presence is desecrating the land.

University of Minnesota in Minneapolis wants to purchase 5 percent viewing rights to the UA's large binocular telescope on Mount Graham, with a $5 million donation from Hubbard Broadcasting.

Mount Graham has been the center of controversy throughout the last decade, as protesters from around the world objected to building the telescope on land sacred to the Apaches.

In October, 27 protesters were arrested on the UA campus after breaking into the Mirror Lab, where mirrors used on high-powered telescopes like Mount Graham are built.


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