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April Faculty Senate notebook: immigration stance, new degree programs, paid time off

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Daniyal Arshad | The Daily Wildcat

President Ann Weaver Hart talks about her optimism on Dr. Robert Robbins taking over as UA President at the faculty senate meeting on April 3. Hart said that Robbins will make a huge impact on the budget process.

The UA Faculty Senate voted to approve the release of three statements responding to recent shifts in immigration policy, voted to approved two new academic programs, and voted to solidify a policy which gives all UA staff and faculty paid time off during the winter closure of campus in their April 3 meeting.

Immigration policy

Following the election of President Donald Trump, UA President Ann Weaver Hart’s office released statements supporting UA’s international and immigrant students.

The Faculty Senate voted to amend and release a statement on "The Importance of Immigration to American Higher Education."

“The University of Arizona Faculty Senate urges the Congress and President of the United States to recognize that in limiting or denying access to individuals seeking to immigrate to the United States, and especially those fleeing violence and oppression, we are likely undermining the future economic, moral, scientific, technological and military potential of our country,” the statement read.

The Faculty Senate voted to amend and approve the release of a statement entitled "The Impact of Immigration Restrictions on the Ability to Pursue Scholarly Endeavors."

“The scholarship carried out by American academics throughout the world enriches not only America’s university students but the entirety of American society,” the statement read. The statement expressed concern that new policies would significantly impact the university’s capacity to conduct research abroad and enrich campus knowledge.

The Faculty Senate voted to enshrine the belief that international “students enrich our universities by sharing their diverse cultures and experiences, and through the study and research that they do here” in a statement on "The Importance of International Students to American Higher Education."

The executive committee created the original wording of these statements and drew heavily on the wording used by other faculty governing organizations around the country.

New degree recommendations

One of the Faculty Senate's primary functions is to recommend degrees to the Arizona Board of Regents for approval.

During the meeting, they voted to recommend two.

They approved the recommendation of the creation of an undergraduate minor in New Testament Language and Literature to the regents.

They also approved to recommend the creation of a Master of Science in Marketing to the regents.

The Faculty Senate was provided with copies of the proposed curricula and Dennis Ray, Chair of the Undergraduate Council, Walter Klimecki, Chair of the Graduate Council, and Janet Sturman, Associate Dean of the Graduate Council, were on hand to answer any faculty questions on the new programs.

Paid time off

The Faculty Senate voted to approve a University Closure Compensation policy. The policy provides all appointed personnel, classified staff and postdoctoral scholars financial compensation over the week between Christmas and New Years when the university closes down a vast majority of its functions.

Before the adoption of this policy, which was tested over this last winter closure, some university staff received no paid leave during this time.

The Faculty Senate also heard presentations from President Hart, Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost Andrew Comrie, and Graduate Professional Student Council President Jude Udeozor.

The meeting concluded with a discussion on the benefits and drawbacks of the current performance review system.

The next Faculty Senate meeting will be held May 1 from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. in the Silver and Sage Room of Old Main.


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