By Natasha Bhuyan
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Tuesday, March 8, 2005
In response to a proposed increase in the business college program fee, the Eller Student Council distributed a survey yesterday and will present the results to the Arizona Board of Regents before they vote on the increase in April.
Ryan Jennings, president of the Eller Student Council, said the aim of the survey is to gather student input on the proposed $250 increase to the current $500 program fee in the Eller College of Management, making the fee $750.
"These results will be true evidence of what students feel concerning the fee increase," Jennings said. "We (Eller Student Council) are going to be in support of what the students want."
Students can weigh in on whether they support a fee at all, if they prefer the $500 fee or if they would support a higher fee, Jennings said.
The survey also provides nine options about where the students would like to see improvements in Eller, including academic advising, class availability, student organizations or faculty retention and recruitment, said Jennings, who hopes at least 10 percent, or 500 business students, will take the survey.
Jennings said the survey results will hold Eller administration accountable for where the fee revenue should go, which is an ongoing concern among business students.
Ken Smith, interim dean of the Eller College of Management, said with the implementation of a program fee two years ago, student input in Eller has increased but allocation of the fee money is still ultimately up to the dean.
"We've worked very directly with student leaders in the college to sort of be accountable for where the money is going, (to) demonstrate that it's working in ways to improve the programs," Smith said.
Because funding is put into a general revenue account, Jennings said it is not always clear if the money is going toward new faculty who are specifically teaching undergraduate courses.
"Since we are bearing the burden of this fee, we feel we should have some say of where this money should go," Jennings said.
Smith said the increase should come as no surprise because after the $500 fee was implemented, administrators informed students of a plan to gradually increase the fee over time.
Blake Buchanan, an Arizona Students' Association director, said Associated Students of the University of Arizona officials will use the results when they draft their program fees proposal before the regents meeting in April.
Depending on what student leaders in each college support, Buchanan said ASUA could support the fees, reject the fees, or come up with new fee proposals all together.
The survey, accessible via the Eller Student Council Web site at www.ellercouncil.com, will be available now through Thursday at midnight.