By Amanda Hunt
Arizona Daily Wildcat
The UA Faculty Senate voted to approve a senate special committee’s report recommending to keep the physical education program at yesterday’s continuation of the April 3 meeting.
The approval was part of a three-part agreement to accept the report as it was presented, endorse it and strongly recommend that the president endorse it as well. Twenty-one senators voted in favor of the recommendation, eight were opposed and four abstained.
The senate discussed the report after Claire Parsons, chair of the Faculty Senate Special Committee on the Reorganization of Exercise and Sport Sciences, presented the findings leading to the committee’s recommendation. The report was released last week.
Parsons outlined the criteria used by the administration; the centrality of the University mission, program redundancy and the economic impact closing the department would have on the community.
The committee recommended the program and its various components be retained and transferred to the College of Education. The committee also recommended that the graduate concentration in athletic training be moved to the College of Medicine and the graduate concentration in sports psychology to the Department of Psychology.
University of Arizona President Manuel T. Pacheco responded to Parsons with a statement about the budgetary needs of the university.
In February, Pacheco seconded Provost Paul Sypherd’s recommendation to eliminate the physical education program by 1998. Both supported the statement that the program is “not suffi-
ciently central to the university’s mission to justify devoting substantial resources to its support.” The journalism and statistics departments were included in the proposed cuts.
Pacheco has not announced when he will make his recommendations about the various reports. The senate will review the journalism and statistic committee reports at the May 8 continuation meeting. The final decision about the proposed cuts will be made by the Arizona Board of Regents.
“The very idea of program elimination is contrary,” Pacheco said.
He said although the decision to cut departments and programs is unpopular, it is a better alternative than making across-the-board cuts to gather the necessary funds.
“The university is in a very precarious financial situation,” he said. From information gathered from vice presidents and deans, Pacheco estimates that about $14 million is needed. The only practical alternative to such broad cuts involves visible changes, like program cuts, he said.
Some senate members said they felt the president had already made his decision and that the process does not matter. Senator Marlys Witte said she was offended by Pacheco implying that a decision to support the report would be settling for mediocrity.
The committee heard from over 200 people through interviews and forums and examined the recommendations from the administration to gather information for the findings in the 30-page report.
Read Next Article