The Arizona Desert Lamp

White Paper: UA South

Posted in UA Transformation Plan by Evan Lisull on 20 October 2008

What is UA South, exactly? From the university’s “Vision”  and “Mission” sections on its home page:

The UA South Vision

UA South will lead the expansion of the University’s Land Grant mission in Southern Arizona by creating learning communities, which promote regional growth and support active learners seeking seamless pathways to success.

The UA South Mission

Provide high quality, accessible educational opportunities to communities throughout Southern Arizona.

As people worry that increasing admissions standards will limit opportunities for Arizona students, it’s worth remembering that there are many higher-ed options in the state, outside of the main three. While Arizona students should have the opportunity to go to college if they so choose, this does not mean that they’re entitled to go to UA-Main specifically.

Anyways, to the proposals.

1. “Unit reorganization and consolidation” — UAS is “reviewing its organizational structure,” but provides no details as to where any weaknesses might lie in this structure. My prediction? Secretaries get axed.

2. UAS proposes to continue expanding its “On-line/hybrid course delivery” options, and volunteers to serve as the guinea pig for any crazy UA educational experiments. The school also proposes to expand its outreach to borderland communities and high schools. This might make sense — continuing with early themes, UA South can pivot itself as the “affordable UA”, while UA ratchets up its standards and (indubitably) increases tuition.

3. “Reviewing Academic Division Structure” — Die, secretaries, die! UAS has three academic divisions: Teacher Ed; Liberal Arts; and Science, Technology, and Professional Studies. The school plans on either having two divisions, or balkanizing the divisions into many “academic program areas.”

4. “Tracking Academic Programs” — Long term program to monitor which programs should be axed, based on enrollment and community demand.

5. The UAS has a strong connection to nearby Fort Huachuca, and proposes becoming an Service members Opportunity Colleges Army Degree (SOCAD) Institution. This allows soldiers earning a degree to transfer easily to other SOCAD institutions as they are transferred to different forts throughout the country.

6. A common sense merger between “Multimedia Services” and “Information Technology Services” into the singular “Technology Services Office.”

The “Budget” section mysteriously assigns, without explanation, $130,972 savings for “Unit reorganization and consolidation” and a cost of $24,000 for the tracking of academic programs, resulting in a total estimated savings of $106,972.

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