Issuu on Google+

Packed out Puck furple pg. 8 Students, faculty and staff crammed themselves into the coliseum Monday night for the basketball games against Tarleton. pg. 3 Students’ First Amendment rights trampled on by MSU staff at sporting event. wichitan ht e Wednesday February 15, 2012 your campus/ your news MSU caps overload hours for faculty New rule puts provost at odds with professors CHRIS COLLINS EDITOR IN CHIEF KYLE EGAN FOR THE WICHITAN A new university edict capping teaching loads at 15 hours has some professors and students fuming. The rule was implemented by Provost Dr. Alisa White a month shy of the spring 2012 semester, sending some department chairs scrambling to implement the changes. Although the directive is campus wide, the departments of social work, criminal justice, radiological sciences and respiratory therapy have felt the greatest impact. Students, especially those in the so- cial work program, have cried foul and faculty members in criminal justice are seeking outside work to compensate for the lost income. In an email dated Dec. 19, White asked Dr. Patti Hamilton, interim dean of the College of Health Sciences and Human Services, to adjust teaching loads so that “no one is teaching more than five 3-credit courses.” Hamilton, in turn, altered the chairs in a Dec. 20 email. “If you have anyone (including yourself) who is on the spring schedule to teach more than the 15-hour equivalent please take the necessary action to correct the situation,” Hamilton wrote. “That action may be to hire more adjuncts or as a last resort to cancel classes.” Hamilton is on vacation this week and could not be reached for comment. White hedged on calling the 15-hour cap a “policy” because it isn’t listed in the MSU Policies and Procedures Manual. Regardless, it is a new rule she’s asking faculty to follow. “As a manager, I have asked a dean not to schedule more than 15 hours.” She said the new rule was instituted to promote efficiency within departments and stay in step with Southern Association of Colleges and Schools accreditation requirements. Meanwhile, one class has been cancelled and another one was delayed for weeks. Some students bought textbooks for the cancelled class that they can’t return. Barry Shaw said he enrolled in Social Welfare Policy with the understanding that it would be taught in person by a full-time faculty member. “At the last moment, they changed it to an online course,” the junior said. Shaw said he was informed that the professor for the course lived in Ala- bama, eliminating any face-to-face meetings. Two weeks into the class, Shaw still hadn’t seen the syllabus. “Through the ninth day of class I checked and still nothing was posted,” he said. “On the eleventh and twelfth day, we were not able to get into the syllabus. On day 13 I was still being denied the syllabus.” Shaw dropped the class. He then discovered that the book he had initially been told to buy wasn’t the right one for the course. The MSU Bookstore agreed to refund $96 to students who bought the wrong book. “I had gotten mine through the bookstore, luckily,” he said. Shaw said he had planned on taking 19 hours this semester. But another social work course was cancelled. That left him with only 13 hours. “I am now out of six hours that I had planned to take this semester,” he said. Jan Shain, a BAAS student, is still enrolled in the Social Welfare Policy class. Things haven’t gotten much better, she said. “Only one assignment has been presented and the deadline has been extended,” she said. “It is so unorganized. It is such a mess.” Both Shain and Shaw said they enrolled in the class because Dr. Gary Fashimpar was listed to teach it. “I wanted Fashimpar because he’s a good teacher with a lot of experience,” she said. Fashimpar has also been at odds with administration since the change went into effect. He said he was contracted to teach 21 hours this semester, but is now down to 12. Fashimpar believes his contract was breached. CAP pg. 4 MSU convergence talks in the works BRITTNEY COTTINGHAM MANAGING EDITOR “Midwestern State University” may cease to exist if left to people who want it to join a state university system. Currently four institutions, including Midwestern, remain as freestanding institutions with their own individual board of regents. There are now four primary university systems in the state: the University of Texas system, the Texas A&M system, the University of Houston system and the Texas State University system. Texas Tech University and the University of North Texas also has two ad- 2010 2011 Tuition at MSU has risen steadily in the past few years. ditional smaller systems. The Texas A&M, Texas Tech and Texas State systems have expressed interest in MSU joining their associations. MSU President Dr. Jesse Rogers said the likelihood of MSU finally joining a university system is higher than it has ever been before. “Considering how large the system has gotten and considering that we are one of the four schools that are outside of the system, nothing more than tidiness of universities make some people think we should be in a system.” SYSTEM pg. 4 2012 Photo illustration by HANNNAH HOFMANN Tuition may rise 3.9% in fall Half of revenue will benefit faculty, staff CHRIS COLLINS EDITOR IN CHIEF Proposed fee increases: MSU will recommend a 3.9 percent tuition increase at the Board of Regents meeting Thursday. President Dr. Jesse Rogers said half of the $1.26 million that will be raised from the tuition hike will be given to faculty and staff members in the form of pay increases. “We must give our faculty and staff some kind of increase in pay,” he said. The last time faculty and staff members were given raises was 18 months ago, he said. This raise will be two percent of an employee’s salary, or $500, whichever is more. “I want to keep our faculty here,” he said. “It really is only fair that we try to do what we can for them. I wish I could do more.” Rogers said the university can’t keep recommending tuition increases of five percent, which it has in the past. This recommendation is notable, Rogers said, because it’s the shallowest increase at MSU since the state deregulated tuition in 2003. “We can’t just keep compounding Three-Peat: $100 to $150 PCH Excessive Semester Credit Hours: assessed at $150 Distance Education: $32 to $50 PCH International Student: $75 to $90 PCH Non-resident Tuition: $30 to $65 PCH Remote student teaching: assessed at $500 PCH a five percent tuition increase every year,” he said. The university is, however, in a serious money crunch. Whereas it received 80 percent of its funding from the state 20 years ago, only 20 percent of revenue now comes from Austin. And he doesn’t see any reason that trend is likely to change. “I don’t believe states are going to walk back in and say, ‘We’re going to increase your funding. I don’t think the money’s there. But because of lack of state funding, and for various reasons, we’re passing the cost on to you, your parents, grants and scholarships.” Rogers doesn’t agree with passing on the cost of education to students and parents. “I think it’s bad policy. I understand why it’s happened, but it’s poor policy.” Administration will also recommend an increase in various fees at the meeting, Rogers said. Here are the proposed changes: the Three-Peat fee will move from $100 to $150; Excessive Semester Credit Hours fee will be assessed at $150 per credit hour; the Distance Education fee will move from $32 to $50 per credit hour; the International Student fee will move from $75 to $90 per credit hour; Nonresident tuition fee will move from $30 to $65 per credit hour. The increase in fees should give MSU $500,000 in additional revenue. Also, the university will ask to reduce the technology fee by $3 and add it to tuition. “To you it’s invisible. To us, it puts money in the right place.” Part of the money raised from fee increases will be used for a new telephone switch and to get new “portal technology.” It will also be used to contribute to the faculty/staff raises. Birds having been pooping on everything close to the Fain building. Photo by CHRIS COLLINS POOP! MSU is for the birds this winter BRITTNEY COTTINGHAM MANAGING EDITOR Birds have been wreaking havoc on sophomore Karen McClain’s campus life all week. It’s also costing her money. “I’ve gotten my car washed three times this week,” McClain said. “When I go to my car after class, it is covered in white. This isn’t like Angry Birds. It’s beginning to become a problem.” Students like McClain have seen no shortage of feathered “friends” over the last few months. The birds are usually known to fly north this time of year, but Dr. Frederick Stangl, MSU biology professor, said the mild winter might be the reason for the increasing amount of birds students have seen flocking on campus. “As with other places, we have pronounced seasonal differences, regardless of weather severity, in the types and numbers of birds as some of our birds fly south for the winter, others from up north winter down here,” Stangl said. Some prominent changes during winter months are the visiting sharp-shinned and Cooper’s hawks in town from up north, he said. “Some resident bird species that are more noticeable when they flock together at this time, such as starlings, blackbirds and grackles,” Stangl said. “Then BIRDS pg. 4

February 15, 2012

Related publications