Administrators wrestle with strong campus issues

By Melissa Prentice

Arizona Daily Wildcat

Its not easy to make major changes in the university, as university administrators found out throughout the last semester as they attempted to change general education, eliminate departments and plan a new Pima County college.

Beginning last summer, a group led by Provost Paul Sypherd set out to "reinvent general education." Under the proposed core curriculum, the university hopes to create two tiers of survey classes in science, humanities, and social sciences that would make a common general education curriculum applicable in all campus colleges.

But the proposal has faced mixed reviews from faculty and students. More than 350 faculty members spent last semester volunteering on 11 committees and submitted reports to Sypherd early this semester.

Although the campus's reaction is still skeptical, four faculty groups are now creating pilot courses that will be offered next spring. At that point, the proposal will be reviewed again, with intentions of implementing the proposal by 1997.

Building under the Mall

The administration was also forced to deal with conflicting campus views when attempting to find a location for the $20 million highly-technical Integrated Instructional Facility that will serve as "home base" for freshman under the core curriculum.

At this time, the choices have been narrowed down and only two remain an "Earth-integrated" building underneath the Mall in front of the Main Library or an expansion and renovation project of Bear Down Gym. Further studies are being done on both locations before President Manuel T. Pacheco's cabinet will render its final decision.

The building was not given funding from the state budget and will be funded by selling bonds. Construction at either location should be finished before November 1998.

Departments in limbo

The future of three departments remains in limbo after being proposed for elimination.

Last spring, Sypherd recommended the elimination of the journalism, physical education and statistics departments. In January, Pacheco seconded the recommendations.

During the last few weeks, the journalism and physical education departments received their first glimmer of hope in a long time when separate Faculty Senate committees recommended keeping the departments intact at the university. Statistics was recommended for elimination by the committee.

The entire Faculty Senate also voted to adopt the committee's recommendation regarding the Physical Education Department. The Senate will discuss the journalism and statistics recommendation at their meeting Monday, May 8.

Pacheco can now reconsider or stick with his original feelings when he makes his recommendations to the Arizona Board of Regents, who have final say on the fates of the departments.

Fernandez heads New Campus

Celestino Fernandez left his position as UA vice president academic outreach and international affairs to led the establishment of the new four-year campus in Pima County.

Campus leaders are deciding between locating the campus at the South Rita Road research park or at the downtown Rio Nuevo location. A private consultant is currently studying both locations.

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