Top Stories of 2013-2014
The Daily Wildcat looks back at the top news stories of the past academic year
1. Crowds clash with police on University Boulevard following Elite Eight loss
Unruly crowds clashed with Tucson Police Department officers on University Boulevard following the Arizona men’s basketball team’s loss in the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament on March 29.
TPD declared unlawful assembly, and riot officers cleared the street after deploying pepper spray and firing pepper balls at members of the crowd. That night, 15 people were arrested, including nine UA students.
The incident drew national attention, and TPD came under scrutiny for its decisions regarding its use of force against the crowd. TPD is also internally investigating allegations of misconduct by its officers after videos surfaced on the internet showing alleged abuses by officers during the melee.
2. State budget fails to deliver requested UA funds
The Arizona state budget signed by Gov. Jan Brewer in April allotted far less funding to the UA than had been requested.
The Arizona Board of Regents requested $34.8 million in new funding for the UA for the 2015 fiscal year. The state budget allocated about $5.5 million in new funds — around $2 million for research infrastructure and $3.5 million for the Cooperative Extension program. This marked the sixth year in a row that the main campus did not receive significant support from the state.
3. UA adopts guaranteed tuition model
Following a call for tuition reform from the board of regents and a campaign by ASUA, the UA will be implementing a guaranteed tuition model for students.
The board of regents approved the plan at its meeting on April 3. The plan gives incoming UA students a set tuition rate for their four years of college. It will be mandatory for new students and optional for current students; current students who choose the plan will have to pay a 4 percent premium on top of this year’s tuition hikes.
4. Johnny Knoxville alleges drugging at UA fraternity house
“Jackass” star Johnny Knoxville alleged that someone slipped ecstasy in his drink at the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity house during a promo for his movie “Bad Grandpa” in September.
While the UA could not find evidence to support this claim, sanctions were imposed on the fraternity in January as a result of the party.
5. Never Settle has challenges ahead
UA administrators will face wchallenges as they move forward with Never Settle, the university’s academic strategic plan, as it lacks critical support from the state.
UA President Ann Weaver Hart presented Never Settle to the board of regents at its meeting in November. The plan aims to reach the regents’ 2020 goals for the UA, which include increasing research expenditures, freshman retention and the number of degrees given. The UA is turning to private donations to help fund Never Settle’s goals with its launch of the Arizona Now campaign. The campaign aims to fundraise $1.5 billion for the university.