The State of the University address will be delivered this Thrusday at 2 p.m. in the Ragan Theater. Although this address may seem like a formality, this speech discusses issues facing our school and student body. More specifically, it aids in understanding the myriad reasons the school functions as it does.
Maybe because of my involvement with the student newspaper I have been particularly engaged in these addresses. However, I encourage each student to attend and take interest in the institution you pay tuition to attend, just as taxpayers should take interest in the State of the Union address.
In an effort to excite you to attend this event, please consider these issues that will more than likely be addressed, and if not, should be addressed during the question and answer portion.
The campus is outgrowing its open-enrollment roots. Campus crowding is intensely increasing, while no apparent changes have been made to manage the onset of a larger student population. The registration process is now a waiting game for students needing to enroll even in general courses.
Some classes are filled past capacity, leaving students to sit on the floor. UVU must re-evaluate enrolling anyone that pays the application fee, because they can no longer equitably accommodate this scenario. Yes, this also effects the trivial issue of parking– it is more heinous than ever before, with not only the paid lots full, but also the visitor and free lots.
Our administration is aggressively advocating the funding of a much-needed new science building from the state legislature. Being that UVU was granted the money to build the library only a few years ago, the effort seems to be, at best, misguided. Massive budget cuts in the past legislative session, and another announced for next fall seem to be much more of an issue than hoping for a large sum of money. Where are the new cuts going to leave UVU?
Last year when cuts were announced, Linda Makin, director of budgets, was adamant about UVU having a ‘rainy day fund,’ from which they would subsidize the new cuts. Is that still the case in a second year of heavy cuts? Are more faculty positions going to be trimmed? A tighter freeze on hiring? Maybe looking for alternatives to budgeting would be a more adequate effort than requesting building funds that will not soon be granted, although, I do understand the effort and appreciate the administration’s tireless campaigning for our institution.
“UVU Review” was critical of President Holland’s appointment last summer, due to his seeming lack of qualifications and limited background in administrative authority. However, Holland has won over many of his early critics with his personable approach to the position.
Aside from that, there are many people on this campus concerned with Holland’s previous involvement as a founding board member of the National Organization for Marriage, an organization with goals to prevent same-sex marriage from being recognized and accepted by law. A large LGBT student community exists on this campus, as well as serves as faculty and staff members.
How are their relationships with Holland affected, and how is Holland addressing these concerns? We simply do not know, because Holland has not addressed it. The State of the University address would be an interesting forum to hear him finally address the issue of LGBT rights and his authority on campus.
Whatever your feelings on these issues or any of the other pressing issues that directly affect this campus, the State of the University address is your forum to get answers.
I hope to see you there.