By Daniel Scarpinato
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Wednesday January 15, 2003
A major news event along the lines of the tragic nursing college shootings or the chaotic Fourth Avenue riots could very well happen this semester, and the Arizona Daily Wildcat is prepared to meet that challenge.
But we're also prepared for what we know will happen. Spring 2003 will be one of the most news-filled terms in several years, as our institution and our world change directions.
Some of the most fundamental alterations in the UA's academic mission and structure will be unveiled in the coming weeks in the form of something called Focused Excellence, which is President Pete Likins' plan to ride out Arizona's hard economic waters and make the university more elite. Wildcat editors, reporters and columnists have spent the past month preparing themselves to fairly, accurately and comprehensively cover this plan and its positive and negative effects.
Just yesterday, Likins released a nearly 6,000-word document outlining the plan, certifying that there will be cuts and mergers of UA programs and departments.
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The full effects of this plan are yet to be known, but since its first mention early last semester, individuals from all over campus expressed their grievances and praises of Focused Excellence.
We know there are concerns with the plan, and we want to hear them so that the president, provost and the dozen or so other university vice presidents can hear those concerns.
We want student body president Doug Hartz and his three student lobbyists to hear your concerns, as the plan could very well affect the tuition-setting process.
And we will also work to cure misconceptions about the plan, and make sure students, staff and faculty know exactly how they will stand.
In another snapshot of change, Arizona has a new governor and a whole host of new public servants. Many of these individuals have made promises to the state and to the university. Now it's time to see if they live up to them. We'll show you how state politics play into your life, and move beyond coverage of meetings and press conferences.
At the same time, our country is also in the midst of trying political times. Many Americans are asking themselves: will we go to war?
While the Wildcat has traditionally steered away from covering political tensions, this staff will do its best to localize international news and illustrate how it might change our little world between Campbell and Euclid avenues. Our hope is that this coverage will go deeper than simple coverage of protests and rallies and examine the motivations and agendas of the groups involved.
As that happens, thousands of students will graduate this May and enter into an economy that is drastically different from the one that existed when they entered college. Will there be jobs for these individuals? We'll do our best to let you know what the career field looks like by talking with economists, counselors and soon-to-be-graduates out on the front lines of the job market.
Our football team had a disappointing season with off-the-field news about players and head coach John Mackovic dominating the sports world, but Arizona's other big team is poised to win back the university's pride.
The men's basketball team entered the 2002-2003 season as the number one team in the nation, and the Wildcat's Web site has updated readers on the team's wins and losses all winter break. Our sports desk will continue its coverage of the team's anticipated trip to New Orleans for the national championship.
Our GoWild entertainment guide will continue to bring the arts community to life, and our expanded nation and world section is ready to put international news at your fingertips.
It's going to be a busy semester, and we plan to keep up with the pace.
The university, the state of Arizona, our country and the world around us are rapidly changing, but despite these changes the Wildcat will remain as reliable and as devoted to your daily life as ever before.