Friday, April 20, 2007

UVSC to host Nader and BYU alternative commencement

The past few days have not been fun for those plucky BYU students who have been trying to find a venue for their alternative commencement. But now it looks like those Cougars looking to trade in Dick Cheney for Ralph Nader will be able to have their event at "that other university" in the valley.

An unnamed source has told The Pipeline that a deposit has been made for the event at UVSC's McKay Events Center. As of Friday afternoon employees at the on-campus arena could neither confirm or deny that the event has been scheduled.

Those familiar with the school remember when Michael Moore's visit in October of 2004 sparked a controversy that eventually garnered national attention. Conservative talk show host Sean Hannity accepted an invitation to UVSC to "balance the ticket".

LDS Church owned Brigham Young University in Provo has been weathering a storm since it announced a month ago that Vice President Dick Cheney would be the speaker at the school's commencement ceremony. Students and like-minded professors almost immediately started organizing an alternative to the Cheney event.

Last week event organizers announced that former presidential candidate and vocal Bush administration critic Ralph Nader had accepted an invitation to speak...the one problem was that venue options were dropping fast.

But it now appears that Nader and the alternative commencement kids have found a place at UVSC. The interesting thing will be if UVSC's fickle donors and supporters pipe up like they did 3 years ago. We shall see...

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Sederburg talks about transition, hands out sandwiches

UVSC President Bill Sederburg, master of the PowerPoint, invited the campus community to break bread and have a good ol' rap session about the school's impending move to university status. For the past few years Big Bill has used "Sandwiches with Sederburg" as a way of presenting his expectations for the following year.

And it seems next year's theme will be hiring. Sederburg laid out his plan for the new influx of cash that came with SB 70, and it looks like the biggest chunk will go to hiring 90 new employees, about 40 of which will be new full-time faculty.

Sederburg said one of the school's weaknesses when it comes to assessment has always been its dependence on adjunct faculty. He anticipates that these new hires will help those full-time to adjunct ratios and possibly reduce teaching loads across the board.

Sederburg also committed to keeping enrollment open and promised that the school "will not move away from its roots" as the transition to university is made. One must assume he was talking about the often maligned trades program that the school was original built on. The official talking points from the school have always been that trades will be around and that UVU would "continue to work with Mountainlands Apllied Technology Center" to make sure the program runs efficient.

In other words, the trades program will probably move piece by piece to MATC as UVSC matures into UVU. Particularly as Sederburg tries to reduce the dependence on adjunct faculty and tries to increase the number of faculty members with terminal degrees.

The administration may say they are committed to trades, but The Pipeline thinks that in 5 years trades will be reduced to only the most technical degrees. There is a reason some staff call it "Baloney with Bill" instead of "Sandwiches with Sederburg".

Thursday, April 5, 2007

UVSC scores another supporter on Board of Regents

The Salt Lake Tribune reports today that former chair of UVSC's Board of Trustees Jack Zenger has been nominated by Gov. Jon Huntsman to the all-powerful State Board of Regents. Zenger will be replacing Michael Jensen, a lawyer from Price. His nomination will need to be confirmed by the state senate.

Zenger will join Marlon "No High School Diploma" Snow on the Board, and the two will be the only representatives from Utah County. Still, that is one more than UVSC had yesterday.

According to the Board of Regents website Snow's term is ending this June. It will be interesting to see if Huntsman replaces him with another Utah County resident. Might we recommend Jeff "Pee Wee" Alexander, who recently retired from the legislature and probably wouldn't mind working a few days a month.

Regents get paid next to nothing (a travel per diem for their monthly meetings) but they hold positions of incredible influence and are treated like kings by schools looking to curry their favor. They also get to rub shoulders with Utah's best and other words, it's a pretty good deal.

The Board is made up of fifteen regents, each appointed by a governor to a six-year term. The Chair appoints two non-voting members to serve unspecified terms. There is also a vote for the student regent, which is chosen every year and is usually a former student body president. Historically Salt Lake City has had the most representation on the board. Currently there are eight regents from Salt Lake serving on the Board.

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

How much computer is too much computer

Jason Adkins over at The College Times has just written a fine editorial piece on how much UVSC administrators are spending on their laptops. Adkins used a GRAMA request to get access to purchasing records.

The article brings up a few very good points, and we will let Adkins give you those, but it also shows the need for an independent news source on campus. In the past faculty and administrators have tried to reel in the school paper, and take editorial control away from student editors.

Articles like this exemplify that a vibrant and vital newspaper can serve as a check against potential corruption. Kudos to Adkins for using GRAMA to keep 'em honest. The Pipeline hopes future student journalists will learn how to use this powerful investigative tool.