By Adam Hartmann

Arizona Daily Wildcat

The proposed four-year college in Pima County will move out of the UA's house and live on its own, the project's adviser said yesterday.

Even so, some who attended a meeting yesterday to discuss the college said they still felt "in the dark" about the project and what it will entail.

The college is the result of a 1990 mandate by the Arizona Board of Regents that the state universities look for ways to handle an expected surge of 55,000 students into the university system by 2010.

"There is a commitment from the president that this institution will be independent," said Celestino Fernandez, University of Arizona academic outreach vice president and the project's adviser.

Fernandez spoke to about 20 faculty and staff at yesterday's meeting in the Student Union.

He said the new college will have a liberal arts-based curriculum and focus on undergraduate education, while the University of Arizona has a broader mission that includes research.

"We don't need another Research I university in our state," Fernandez said. "We're thinking about an institution that is complementary to what we're doing at the University of Arizona."

The new college also will function as a "middle tier" between a community college and a major university, he said.

"We believe that this state needs other opportunities for in-state students," Fernandez said. "The needs are at the undergraduate level."

He said the college would open in the fall of 1995 and grow to a maximum enrollment of 10,000 students. It would offer few master's degrees, no doctoral degrees and would not have intercollegiate athletics, he said.

A site has not yet been found for the proposed college, but it may be housed temporarily in the IBM facility that the UA is currently trying to acquire near Interstate 10 and South Rita Road, he said.

Still, Genevieve Watson, associate director of the UA's financial aid office, said she was concerned that the college would not be funded adequately by the state Legislature.

The UA received $1.5 million from the state for its proposed college. It requested $2.1 million.

"I didn't get the impression that we have the legislative support to the extent that we need," Watson said.

Fernandez said if the UA determines it does not have adequate funds, it would continue planning for the college, but delay opening it until the fall of 1996.

John Warnock, an associate English professor, said he felt uninformed about the administration's plans for the proposed college.

"The process has been kind of invisible to me up to this point," Warnock said. "I'm just kind of in the dark about how other folks at the university are going to be involved."

He said he thought the new college should at least have the same admission standards as the UA. Warnock said he would be concerned if the new college has lower standards because students who cannot get into the top universities might feel discouraged.

And William Shoup, associate dean of the College of Agriculture, said the new university's admission standards would only be effective to the extent that they are enforced.

"It's how you enforce them, not what you write," Shoup said. "(The UA) can't afford to enforce them."

Shoup also asked how the liberal-arts curriculum would affect the same departments at the UA.

"We're in business not just to do research," Shoup said. "Obviously, this will affect other undergraduate majors here."

Fernandez said the university needs to provide input to the Arizona Board of Regents about its plans for the curriculum, as the board will make the decision to ratify any curriculum. But he said a liberal-arts curriculum at the new college would not affect the same courses here.

"It doesn't mean that there will be any less need for those courses here if we still have 35,000 students," he said. Read Next Article