The Arizona Desert Lamp

White Paper: “The World’s Land Grant University”

Posted in UA Transformation Plan by Evan Lisull on 21 October 2008

Ugh — even the abbreviated title is tough to take. The full, two-dollar title: “The University of Arizona and the World’s Land Grant University: Teaching, Research and Service that are World-Class, World-Wide, Real-Time and Relevant.” Can we get another slogan referendum? I’m thinking something along the lines of, “Now with 30 percent less fat!”

Anyways, the authors of this paper think that the UA needs to focus on its international outreach (new proposal for raising money: sell the entire campus to one the U.A.E.’s emirates. Hell, we might even get one of those fancy resorts as a bonus). International outreach programs should be centralized, under the authority of either the Vice Provost or Vice President, rather than existing in a disorganized hodgepodge. The authors’ proposals:

1. Bring study abroad and student exchange programs (“which deserve to be significantly expanded”), and other related services, under this new authority.

2. Increase and improve international outreach (yes, this proposal actually says nothing).

3. Centralize and improve other contacts with the international community, which include “procurement of private support for international activities, and the development of a comprehensive distance learning capacity designed to introduce the University’s academic excellence into institutions of higher learning worldwide.”

The last point is, sadly, the most interesting. The whole thing reads like the foul love-child of a Department of Education press release. and an advertising pamphlet for time-shares.

Oh, you wanted us to save money? So sorry:

The committee recognizes the constrained state of University resources, and also recognizes that realignment as described here will not save money.   Instead, this model reflects a strategic reallocation of resources, and has the potential to significantly increase international contracts, enrollment, diversity and revenue.  But absent either as infusion of funds or following through on reallocation, these gains will not occur.

Props for the Orwellian “resource issues” for “monetary shortfall” in the paper. Implement this into your daily vernacular!

e.g. “Sorry man, I don’t have beer money; I’ve got resource issues.”

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