Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Sederburg gives short list for new V.P.

UVSC President William Sederburg has tipped his hand and shown us all his final candidates for the VP of academics spot vacated by Brad Cook. An e-mail went out to employees this morning with the names of the three candidates, their bio information, and times of various meet-and-greets.

The bios are included below:

Dr. Elizabeth J. Hitch

Liz Hitch came to the University of Wisconsin – La Crosse (UW-L) in July 2002 as Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs after serving for seven years as Dean of the College of Education and Professional Studies at Eastern Illinois University, Charleston, Illinois. She served as Interim Chancellor for UW-L from July 1, 2006, to February 1, 2007. Previous to her work at Eastern, she served for 15 years as a faculty member in the Department of Environmental Studies (achieving tenure and rank of full professor) at Central Michigan University. At CMU, she also held positions as Director of Teacher Education; and Associate Dean of the School of Education, Health and Human Services. Before entering the faculty ranks at CMU, she was Manager of Instruction Design in the School of Medicine at The University of Michigan. She holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Human Ecology from Michigan State University and a Ph.D. in Educational Psychology from The University of Michigan.

Dr. Bill Evenson

Bill Evenson has been a university administrator for 11, an administrator at Utah Valley State College for 3 years, and a faculty member for 37 years, most of which he has been deeply involved in teaching and research in his field of physics. He is currently Associate Dean of Science & Health and Professor of Physics at UVSC, where he also led the College General Education Committee for the past two years. He was Interim Associate Vice President for Scholarship and Outreach in 2004-05. He was Professor of Physics at Brigham Young University for 34 years and served there as Associate Academic Vice President in charge of General Education, Honors, Continuing Education, Religious Education, the BYU Jerusalem Center (overseeing the establishment of programs there when the new building was first occupied), and with shared responsibility for international programs. He was also Dean of the College of Physical and Mathematical Sciences, and Dean of General Education. One of his strengths as an administrator has been the ability to work effectively with all constituencies – students, staff, faculty, advisors, and administration – in a collegial relationship to strengthen the institution and solve problems as they have arisen.

Evenson received his Ph.D. in theoretical condensed matter physics from Iowa State University in 1968, and B.S. in physics from Brigham Young University in 1965. He was an NSF postdoctoral fellow at the University of Pennsylvania with J. R. Schrieffer. His physics research now deals mainly with studies of surfaces, nanostructures, defects in materials, and inverse problems in statistical physics. He was a Fulbright Senior Scholar (research) at University of Konstanz, Germany, for 1998-99. He has had other visiting appointments at University of Hawaii and Oregon State University, and he was George and Caroline Arfken Physics Scholar in Residence at Miami University (Ohio) in November, 2002. He continues his research in physics and work in history of physics along with his current administrative position. He has published approximately 95 papers and one book in physics.

Evenson is a Fellow of the American Physical Society (APS).and has been an officer for many years of the APS Forum on History of Physics and the APS Four Corners Section. He was editor of History of Physics Newsletter for 6½ years from 1997 to 2003. He is a current member of the Editorial Board of the journal Physics in Perspective. His long-standing interest in the history of physics continues in parallel with other activities in the physics community: founding chair of the APS Four Corners Section, where he instituted and promoted a strong focus on student participation and a successful program of public outreach lectures connected to the annual section meeting; currently Chair-Elect of the 3,500-member Forum on History of Physics; APS Panel on Public Affairs (POPA) from 2001 through 2003.

He has active collaborations with scientists in Germany, China, and several universities in USA. He is Chair of the Executive Committee for International Conferences on Hyperfine Interactions and Nuclear Quadrupole Interactions (2004-present). He was on the Program and Organizing Committees for the 13th International Conference on Hyperfine Interactions, Bonn, Germany, August 2004, and he chaired the Program and Organizing Committees for the 12th International Conference on Hyperfine Interactions, Park City, Utah, August 2001. He participated in the Hydrogen Initiative Workshop Panel of POPA in San Francisco, December 5-7, 2003, writing one of four major sections of the report on research required for hydrogen energy development. He currently shares an NSF grant focused on undergraduate research experience with a colleague at Northern Kentucky University that now involves two UVSC physics majors and one other faculty member.

Evenson published a small book dealing with science and religion at the end of 2005: Mormonism and Evolution: The Authoritative LDS Statements, William E. Evenson and Duane E. Jeffery (Kofford Books, Salt Lake City, 2005).

Dr. Steven H. Hanks

Dr. Steven H. Hanks is Vice Provost at Utah State University. He began his academic career teaching at Northeast Missouri State University (now Truman State University). He received his Ph.D. in Business Administration from the University of Utah, specializing in the areas of Business Strategy and Human Resource Management. He joined the faculty at Utah State University in 1988 where he has taught extensively at the graduate and undergraduate levels, courses related to strategic management, global business, applied research, and entrepreneurship. His research has centered on issues related to strategy, structure and leadership in emerging business ventures and his work has been published in the Journal of Business Venturing, Entrepreneurship, Theory and Practice, the Journal of Small Business Management, as well as other journals, reports and conference proceedings.

In addition to his faculty roles, Dr. Hanks has carried numerous administrative assignments, including service as Director of the Utah State University Small Business Institute, Associate Dean in the College of Business, Faculty Senate President, Vice Provost for International Affairs and Director of Distance Business Programs. During the 2001-2002 school year, Dr. Hanks was on assignment in the West Bank where he served as Dean of the Faculty of Administrative and Financial Sciences at the Arab American University in Jenin. In his present role as Vice Provost, Dr. Hanks carries a broad portfolio of assignments related to international and academic affairs. He is familiar with critical issues in higher education in the State of Utah and the Utah System of Higher Education, serving as point person for USU in communications with the Commissioners Office and the State Board of Regents in areas related to academic affairs.

A step closer to University for UVSC

It might have been easy to get swept up in the multitude of articles about UVSC's pending status in this morning's Daily Herald, Deseret Morning News, and Salt Lake Tribune. All three featured good sized articles about Senate Bill 70 clearing the Education Committee with a vote of 5-1. And while the bill mentions $10 million to make the transition happen, it doesn't really hand the money out.

In fact if you look closely at SB 70 you will see that the bill, which now must go before the full Senate, is mostly a procedural bill, editing the State System of Higher Education's code to allow for an eventual name change, the eventual granting of university status, and requisite change of mission to that of a Type II institution similar to Southern Utah University, and Weber State University.

The one no vote came from Howard Stephenson Draper-R, who tried to come across as a "don't rock the boat" kind of guy, saying that "We haven't had a dearth of students coming to that institution. We haven't had to advertise to get more kids coming to those slots. It's a system that has worked."

But instead Stephenson showed his ignorance when it comes to the realities of UVSC and the needs of Utah Valley. At one point he said that "UVSC has always been Utah's low-price leader in quality higher education."

Higher Education Commissioner Rich Kendell responded saying that the UVSC model is only working because students are paying a higher percentage of total funding. UVSC students still pay 51 percent of their education, while the state average has most Utah higher ed students paying 35 percent.

Stephenson forgets of course that just because the state has gotten a good deal out of UVSC the last 5-10 years, doesn't mean that someone else hasn't been paying the piper. Kendell pointed out that in the past 10 years tuition at UVSC has gone up 130 percent. UVSC's current tuition, which will surely go up if the move to university is made, is on par with tuition at Weber and SUU. Currently UVSC students pay just a hundred dollars less than their peers at Weber and SUU, and just three hundred less than Utah State University.

So will it pass the full vote of the Senate? Well considering that this Senate President John Valentine's baby, and he lists 26 senators as cosponsors, and there are only 29 senators total, than we would say: "Yes, the chances of the bill passing the senate look good." Even Stephenson is a co-sponsor, despite his nay vote.

But remember, this bill commits no funding (instead points out the need for it) and does not grant UVSC a change in status. It merely cleans up the books so that UVSC's mission-change can progress forward. It is a step closer, but its a small step.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

The Numbers Game

For the past few years the actual number of students at UVSC has been something of a mystery. While the school's Institutional Research office keeps enrollment data handy on their website, it is sometimes not up-to-date. Why does the simple task of counting heads give us such a hazy picture? And what could be the reasons behind cooking the books when it comes to enrollment data.

In fact, up until about a week ago the numbers for the Fall 2006 semester were not available on the website. And these were numbers due in mid-September (The precious "3rd week" enrollment numbers). But a check by The Pipeline at the beginning of 2007 revealed that the numbers had not been updated. If you view the source data for the Fall 2006 page you will see that it was last updated on January 10 2007. We can only assume that the numbers for Fall 2006 were finally updated at that time. Keep in mind that these numbers are not the headcount at the end of finals...they represent the headcount for the third week of classes, when people have set their schedules and are attending class.

Now of course data had been released to the public earlier than that. A story in the Des News from this past October said the college had 20,262 students currently enrolled in at least one class. The 3rd week numbers on the website give a different total: 23,305. Where did those 3,043 students come from? We'll get to that in a minute.

The other thing that is interesting about this discrepancy is that the D News story says that UVSC was one of the few schools that actually had enrollments rise over the previous year, claiming that Fall of 2005 saw 19,836 students attending the school. The article even went so far as to say that the school was "relishing" in their 1 percent increase. But this Fall 2005 number of 19,836 is quite a bit different from the numbers posted by Institutional Research office for the same time period. Their third week total for Fall 2005 is 24,487. So instead of an increase in total enrollment from 2005's 19,836 to 2006's 20,262 we see it going from 24,487 in 2005 to 23,305 in 2006. That's an almost 1,200 student decrease. Not a 1 percent increase...a 5 percent decrease!

So why the funny numbers? Well, what makes these equations so messy sometimes is that on occasion it isn't UVSC students they are counting at all. Sometimes the school posts numbers that include the thousands of Utah teens taking concurrent enrollment courses at their local high school, getting UVSC credit for classes taught by your average secondary-ed teacher. (classes that other schools do not recognize as college level coursework and will not use as transfer credits).

Another scary feature of the concurrent enrollment program: These students are not in special classes, they are mixed in with students who are taking the same course just not for UVSC credit.

Most of the classes are taught on high school campuses by high school teachers who must have a master's degree, Sederburg said. Many are mixed classes, meaning some students are seeking college credit, and others are not. "Right now, the huge percentage of our enrollment is in mixed classes where there are relatively few students taking the course for college credit. In many of those cases, no additional work is being required of the student. We want to move toward the majority of the students taking them for college-level credit and that the teaching is a college-teaching level and not a high-school level." From the Feb 27, 2006 Daily Herald.

So how many of the 24,487 UVSC students in the Fall of 2005 were actually high schoolers getting UVSC credit? Well a Daily Herald story from this past August said that in 2005 there 6,558 students enrolled in the school's concurrent enrollment program. If these teens are indeed counted in the total enrollment numbers, and another Herald article says that is the case (The school claims that the drop from 24,487 to 23,305 as noted above was due to changes in the concurrent enrollment policies), then at least back in 2005 one out of every four UVSC students was actually a high school student.

And these high school students paid a one-time fee of $30 to enroll in the program (it has since been raised to a whopping $35). During 2005 these 6,558 took 46,324 credit hours...meaning on average they took around 7 credit hours each. If you were to take 7 credit hours as a normal student at UVSC it would cost you around $800 (and another $200 in student fees). Do the math and you'll see that UVSC is missing out about 6.5 million dollars, by letting high school kids take their credits at high school. Last year Sederburg asked the legislature to allow UVSC to charge high school students 30 dollars a credit hour. At the time it cost the school about $60 a credit hour and the state was only picking up half of that ($35). That means the 46,324 credit hours attempted in 2005 actually cost the school about $1.5 million. By the way...the state legislature said no to that plan.

So not only does the school miss out on charging these kids full price, but it costs them money to lose this money. No wonder business people look at colleges and scratch their heads.

But of course the most important numbers are the FTEs: The Full-Time Equivalents. This number is reached by combining part time students to equal the hours taken by their full-time peers. It is this number that is used by the state to calculate UVSC's funding. A drop in FTE means less money to go around.

So the FTE numbers should be iron-clad, and they should show that UVSC is increasing enrollment, right? Depends on which numbers you look at. Back in October The Daily Herald ran this story that said that the Fall 2006 FTE number was 13,877, which was a slight raise from 2005's FTE which was 13,739.

Of course the numbers on the Institutional Research site tell quite a different story. Those numbers say that in the Fall of 2005 UVSC had 16,081 FTEs. And this year the school has 15,668 Full-Time Equivalents. That is a difference of -413 or 2.5 percent. Not the growth that has been bragged about in the papers, and certainly not the growth that is being talked about on the hill right now.

Of course The Pipeline admits that the numbers discussed here are only as good as the information provided. If the school has other numbers we would love to see them. If the school would like to share exactly how many high school students are being used to bolster total headcounts, we are all ears.

This much is for sure...The school often throws around that 24,000 number, so often that it is just taken for granted. But the truth is the school has no where near that many students, and it never did. To say otherwise does students, parents, and the state of Utah an injustice. Honesty is the best policy.

Legislature listens to UVSC's request for additional funding

Stories in both the Deseret Morning News and The Daily Herald focus on UVSC's bid for university status and the money they are asking for to make that a reality. The story in the D News seems to be a much more informitive and balanced piece...and the one in the Herald is just plain awful.

On Monday UVSC president Bill Sederburg went before the Utah Legislature and laid out his case for the school's move to University status and the money that will be needed to accomplish such a transition. Utah's commissioner of higher education Richard Kendell joined Big Bill in the hot seat and reassured legislators that UVSC would remain a teaching university and avoid the temptations to creep toward a research institution.

This pledge to remain a "teaching university" may come back to bite as critics of the school's "far-left secular agenda" can point to any faculty research that doesn't please them and accuse them of "mission creep". Don't think it can't happen.

Monday, January 22, 2007

A reality check for Trades at UVSC

The Deseret Morning News has milked yet another story out of the fact that UVSC pioneer Wilson Sorensen is displeased with the school's desires to become a university. This issue of the college's original mission and the realities of today cuts to the core of many of the internal rumblings on campus.

Old timers like Sorensen and others complain that the administration, "will eventually eliminate the trade and technical programs," and that "We'll completely lose our identity" as "Liberal Arts takes over."

But anyone who has spent time at UVSC in the past 15 years will tell you that it isn't Liberal Arts that is taking over Trades, it is Trades that has failed to adapt to the changing needs of students looking to stay competitive in an increasingly specialized work place. Some months ago The Pipeline spoke to an administrator at the Dean level who has practically grown up in the halls of UVSC. His father spent his entire working life in the school's Trades department. He said that the old guard has continually refused to update their programs to match the training indicative of a college campus. Efforts have been made by the administration to encourage those in the Trades to modernize curriculum, including offering NASCAR certification for the Auto Program.

It is the opinion of The Pipeline that the old guard of UVSC's Trade programs have refused modernization and as such have relegated themselves to increasing attrition. Sorensen is quite right...One day UVSC will no longer offer trade programs, but it is not Sederburg's fault, nor is it the influences of the Liberal Arts. The blame lays squarely at the feet of dinosaurs that refuse to evolve.

Take a look at a map of UVSC. The Sparks Automotive Building has the largest footprint of any building on campus (not the most square footage...but it does take up the most physical space). The Pipeline believes that all trades programs that don't offer curriculum that falls in line with a true university experience should move across I-15 to the MATC. Let's open up this valuable real estate to relevant programs with high student demand.

The college often romanticizes its Trade School past, pointing to it as evidence of their hard work ethic, a hands on approach to learning, and the nobility of blue collar sweat. They should be proud of the school's heritage. But that should not blind UVSC from its true mission...preparing today's young adults to be valuable workers, informed and involved citizens, and decent human beings. All of these skills can't be taught at the work bench. A comprehensive degree program is best suited to instill these values. Let the MATC fufill its mission of providing our community with trained trades people and technicians.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Big Bill lays out his case

UVSC president William Sederburg has written a lengthy Op-Ed in this morning's Daily Herald spelling out his reasons for wanting to move to university status, and sheding some light on what UVU might look like. It is a good piece, and obviously folks at the capitol have been listening to Big Bill's spiel because it looks like progress is being made. This past Tuesday the Senate Education Committee gave their approval on SB90, a bill that will split 10.5 million bucks between the state's 9 colleges and universities with UVSC recieving the lion's share with $3 million in ongoing funding. In a Deseret Morning News article on Wednesday, Senate President John Valentine said he considerred the increase a "down payment" on UVSC's move to university status, with the money going toward more faculty and staff hires. The bill now moves on to debate in the full senate. Look for opposition from Howard Stephenson, R-Draper, who says the round dollar ammounts for each school sound fishy. The Pipeline expects the bill to pass, as it throws much needed funds at all 9 public schools.

Some of you may have caught the KSL story about SB90 which mentioned that Brigham Young University would also be getting $1 million. It appears that whoever wrote the copy, when they were adding up Utah's 9 public schools they forgot all about Weber State and so included BYU instead. We can forgive Mormon Church-owned KSL for being a little BYU-Centric, and Weber is easy to forget. But it did provide much fodder on KSL message boards as people wondered "Why in the hell is BYU getting state funds!"

Friday, January 19, 2007

Sorensen slams UVSC's plans

Well, forget about Sorensen State University. In an article in Thursday's Des News UVSC pioneer Wilson Sorensen had some harsh critiques of Bill Sederburg's push for university status. It seems the 90-year-old Sorensen is none to pleased that his beloved trades programs are losing ground to more traditional college fare.

"They cut the welding program. Eventually, the liberal arts will take over," said Sorensen in the article.

Sederburg is quick to point out the flaws in Sorensen's logic, citing the declining numbers of students in trades as the reasons programs have been cut. Big Bill also points out that that many students interested in trades choose to attend the MATC across the street from UVSC, where classes can cost as little as $50, and they don't make you do all that fancy book learning.

While Big Bill is right on the money about the decline of trades, it was a poor move on his part not to get the Patron Saint of UVSC to sign on to the whole university thing from the get go. Instead of having this respected (yet senile) education pioneer singing your praises, Bill has to play defense and the school gets another front page story about being too big for its britches.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

A University by any other name would smell as sweet

In all of the hoopla over Utah Valley State College becoming a university the thing that garners the most attention is what to call it when it happens. Utah Valley University is supposedly the working title that the administration and the legislature are working under now, but things could change. Recently, The Daily Herald ran an editorial calling for the name to honor UVSC's founder Wilson Sorensen.

While we sort of like the sound of Sorensen State University one problem might be that SSU sounds a lot like SUU (Southern Utah University). And for a school that has always had an identity crisis, not having its location in the name doesn't exactly put them on the map. But Sorenson State might still have a chance as one administator mentioned the possibility in passing last month.

Others have suggested Utah Valley State University or UVSU as a viable candidate, and keeping the shorthand Utah Valley State (a moniker that Bill Sederburg insisted on when he came to UVSC...going so far as to chip the word college off of signs around campus). One problem with the abbreviation UVS is that it is already used by the Utah Valley Symphony.

Still others claim that the school should honor its technical roots and go by Utah Tech (like Georgia Tech or Texas Tech). This actually sounds pretty cool and it is easy to see students calling it U-Tech. But an administrator told The Pipeline some time ago that they had investigated the other Techs and had found that in order to be called a Tech you need a certain ratio of technical degrees to regular degrees, something UVSC doesn't currently qualify for. It also ignores the very reason most believe the name change is happening anyways. People want "University" on their diploma. You could call it Utah Technical University, but then it starts to sound like a unaccredited private college like ITT or Devry. Besides is already taken by the Ulster Teacher's Union in Ireland.

Most who oppose the name Utah Valley University claim that that it is too location-specific, and that the school wants to be seen as a viable option from people outside Utah Valley. But Utah State University and The University of Utah, the two most general names, are already taken.

In the end it will be the State Legislature that will decide the name change, and you can count on legislators from Salt Lake, Ogden, Cedar City, and Logan protecting their turf. Most of them don't want to share "University" with UVSC in the first place. But if State Sen. John Valentine forces the issue and they are backed in a corner, look for the name game to be a big part of the negotiating table. In which case a dark horse like Sorensen State University might have a chance.

Friday, January 12, 2007

UVSC students protest Bush's Iraq plan

Today's Daily Herald featured a short piece on a small student protest at UVSC concerning President Bush's new plan for Iraq. You can find the artilce here. While The Pipeline applauds these 5 students courage to stand up against the majority, we think the Herald has a vested interest in making a small event into something much bigger...As the state legislature gets ready to start their session, and with UVSC's future in the balance, The Herald can do a lot to rile the electorate against UVSC and their quest for university status.

The problem is that UVSC is facing enough detractors from outside the valley. Too much eroding of Utah County support, as we saw in 2005 with the DLC, results in UVSC getting left out in the cold. And a very vocal minority in this county has made it quite clear that their support is based on UVSC's behaivor.

Just yesterday The Herald ran a letter from a vocal local who brought up the ghosts of liberal past, complaining of Michael Moore and The Vagina Monologues...and how such attrocities deserve the county's scorn.

But if there is a knock-down-drag-out over all this stuff, The Herald will have all their stories written for them for the next two months. Be on the lookout for more UVSC coverage from both the Herald and The D News in the next few weeks, especially things that conservatives can point to and scream "liberal bias". Trust us...the storm is coming.

Tuesday, January 9, 2007

Hateful Things

If you have a few minutes during the day be sure to check out the Hateful Things exhibit on the Fourth Floor of the Library. It comes to UVSC courtesy of Ferris State University's Jim Crow Museum, and will be on display until the end of the month. You might recognize the piece pictured here...its from Salt Lake City's own Coon Chicken Inn.

Could an article undo UVSC's lobbying efforts again?

When Professor Jeffery Nielsen was fired from Brigham Young University last year, he did what many others have done when the Lord's University has no more use for them...he joined the faculty at Utah Valley State College. A new article from the Salt Lake Tribune's Utah County reporter Todd Hollingshead catches up with Nielsen, who was ousted from BYU after writing an Op-Ed in the Trib criticizing the LDS church's stance on homosexuality.

Nielsen now splits his time between UVSC and Westminster College in Salt Lake, and is also working with SLC's mayor Rocky Anderson on something he calls the "Democracy House Project". Nielsen sees it as multi-level marketing approach to getting more people versed in the ways of government and democracy. Check out the is pretty interesting stuff.

In the article UVSC's own David Keller is quoted as saying, "His [Nielsen's] research may not be consistent with the mission of private religious institutions, but it sure is consistent with the public, secular mission of UVSC". Pointing out UVSC's secular mission, and noting it's direct opposition to BYU's religious mission, is sure to get the attention of the conservative Utah County delegation, the recently formed Friends of Utah Valley PAC, and UVSC's resident cranky old grump Norm Nielsen (who at this point is double-checking his genealogy to make sure he isn't related to Jeff). And of course this article has to come out just days before the incredibly conservative, and overwhelmingly LDS, State Legislature begins their 45-day session, with the future of UVSC's move to university hanging in the balance.

All you UVSC folks who were around during the Michael Moore War remember that a series of articles in the Daily Herald concerning UVSC's supposed liberal leanings effectively sunk the school's chances of getting funding for the DLC back in 2005. Before those articles ran the DLC was on the top of the building list. After the articles the DLC didn't even make the list. In an article in The College Times UVSC's lone voice on the State Board of Regents, Marlon "No high school diploma" Snow, confirmed that the Utah County delegation was not pleased with UVSC's recent liberal leanings. At a dinner UVSC held to thank the Utah County delegation a few months later Rep. Steve Clark stood and said. "UVSC is a great opportunity for kids to have the BYU experience. We're walking on eggshells when we say this, but we know that people want that experience." It's a good thing UVSC hired Clark this past summer to be the new director of the Small Business Development Center.

Then in November of 2005, State Senate president John Valentine confirmed that he wouldn't work for University status until he got assurances that UVSC had seen the light and returned to being BYU-Orem. In an article in The College Times he was quoted as saying "What we need to have happen is not a repeat of what happened at this institution in the last couple of years. This institution reflects the values of the community in which it resides. And if we have continual efforts to try and move this institution away from the values of this community we are going to have some problems up at the state capital."

Considering that Valentine has now made UVSC's move to university status his top priority, The Pipeline can only assume that such assurances have been made.

Saturday, January 6, 2007

Sederburg to give State of the College Address

UVSC president Bill Sederburg sent out a GroupWise e-mail this past Wednesday informing all about his State of the College address. Since coming to the college Sederburg has given his annual State of the College address, usually coinciding with President's State of the Union. This year's address will be on Tuesday January 30 at 1pm in the Ragan Theater.

You can usually count on a few things from Ol' Billy Boy's speeches. Expect a lot of bad jokes and plenty of genuflecting to the State Legislature. And this time around you will definitely hear about the school's recent fundraising successes, the Digital Learning Center construction, and of course the push towards University.

In fact by the time of Sederburg's speech we will be already two weeks into the 45-day legislative session, and by then there might be some clearer indications if University status is in UVSC's immediate future. An article in Friday's Deseret Morning News says that Senate President John Valentine is making UVSC's transition to university his top priority. Valentine has said he would like to get a commitment from the state this year for the extra $10 million in ongoing funding that the school needs and would also like to set July 2008 as the date when UVSC would become a university.

Expect Sederburg to rally behind that date, and set priorities for that $10 million. Don't be surprised if he names the new Academic Vice President during his address (if he hasn't already by that time) and don't be surprised if Brad Cook's successor is a woman, non-LDS, and from outside Utah. One administrator close to the Prez has indicated that Sederburg might do just that. Stay tuned.

UV Link Sinks as students register

Without fail every semester since UVSC made the switch to the Banner software UVLink is useless when it comes to crunch time. It seems as soon as the semester starts UVLink's servers crash and students, faculty, and staff are left scrambling to accomplish the simplest tasks using backdoors and printouts.

Often administrators blame these problems on the fact that students at UVSC historically register later than sooner. While this certainly is the case you would expect the school to anticipate such a surge of late registrations and plan accordingly.

The big problem here is servers. Clearly the school needs to upgrade and expand its capabilities if it is going to handle 30,000 students some day.

Fulton's back the push for University Status

An article in today's Deseret News says that Arizona philanthropist Ira Fulton is backing UVSC's bid to become a regional university, and he is putting his money where his mouth is.

Fulton, who on Thursday wrote UVSC a check for over half a million dollars, says he will help the community raise $10 million dollars and challenge the State Legislature to do the same. Ira and his wife Mary Lou started the Fulton Challenge earlier this year, setting a goal for the college of $300,000 in fundraising. Unlike similar challenges made to the Arizona State and Brigham Young, UVSC actually not only met their goal put nearly doubled it...raising $512,000. The Fulton's matched those funds dollar for dollar.

The article is pretty decent, but fails to mention that the $10 million UVSC is looking for from the state is actually for on-going funds. That money will be used to hire more faculty to reduce the ratio of adjunct to fulltime faculty and to increase the number of professors with terminal degrees. The school will also need to hire more fulltime staff to handle the expected enrollment increases, retention, and added complexity that comes with offering graduate programs and a more comprehensive undergraduate program.

The general feeling on campus was that Fulton might continue to extend his considerable fundraising talents to UVSC. In the last 7 years The Fulton have given over $100 million to ASU, $82 million to BYU and $10 million to the University of Utah. The article says that Ira is also leading a campaign to raise a billion dollars total for ASU.

The Pipeline spoke with a Dean recently who said that administrators hoped that if the school did well with the Fulton Challenge in 2006 that perhaps Ira would continue to give money in 2007. That looks to be the case.