1. Regents OK 2012-13 tuition freeze
For the first time in 20 years, tuition for resident undergraduates will not increase next school year. The Arizona Board of Regents decided this in a unanimous vote on April 5. The regents have increased tuition for these students by more than 20 percent each of the last three years, and will keep tuition and mandatory fees for both incoming and continuing resident undergraduate students steady at $10,035.
2. The UA gets a new president
The Arizona Board of Regents appointed Ann Weaver Hart to be the next UA president, effective July 1, on Feb. 17. Hart, who is the current president of Temple University in Pennsylvania, was chosen by a 23-member search committee composed of UA faculty, regents, student leaders and community members. The search committee looked at more than 80 candidate prospects, though more than 100 people were nominated for the position. Hart’s contract runs until June 30, 2015.
3. Students in Mexican-American studies fight ban in local schools
Ethnic studies courses were removed from the Tucson Unified School District’s curriculum on Jan. 10 to comply with House Bill 2281, which sought to end ethnic studies in public schools throughout the state. Under the bill, these courses violated the policy “that public school pupils should be taught to treat and value each other as individuals and not be taught to resent or hate other races or classes of people.” The Associated Students of the University of Arizona held a forum on the UA Mall to address the ban on March 19, and the UA’s Faculty Senate and Graduate and Professional Student Council as well as ASUA released formal statements opposing the legislation.
4. Tucson Modern Streetcar construction hits campus, surrounding areas
The city of Tucson started construction for the Tucson Modern Streetcar, officially named Sun Link, in April. The streetcar line will start just west of Interstate 10 and travel through the downtown area and onto Fourth Avenue. From there, it will turn onto University Boulevard and pass through campus via Second Street, ending at the Arizona Health Sciences Center.
Construction has caused closures along Fourth Avenue, Congress Street and University Boulevard, among others. The project is slated to be completed and running in late 2013.
5. UA Health Network bans smoking and tobacco products outside of hospitals
The network, which oversees the University of Arizona Medical Center-University Campus, the University of Arizona Medical Center–South Campus and dozens of clinics in Tucson and Southern Arizona, banned outside smoking in all forms on Jan. 1 — including in the hospital’s parking lot. “Butt huts,” or designated smoking areas, were also banned. Administrators in the network said that as a leading health care institution, it was appropriate to have a tobacco-free environment. The network now offers free programs and services to employees, patients and their families to help them quit smoking.