Differential tuition bill approved
The Blugold Commitment Differential Tuition bill was passed with a 24-0-2 vote by the Student Senate at the meeting
With an estimated differential tuition collection and an estimated carryover from 2010-2011, the Student Senate approved an aggregate spending plan of $9.5 million for the 2011-2012 academic year.
The money will fund 62 proposals, including projects, financial assistance, research and organizations on campus, as well as the hiring of 32 new faculty members. The proposals were chosen based on the impact they have in the student learning alignment with established goals and criteria and assessment plan, according to the bill.
During the meeting, Student Body President Dylan Jambrek introduced an amendment that would add to the Blugold Commitment Differential Tuition funding for an additional faculty position for the extinct Music Therapy program and bring it back.
“(Music Therapy) is a unique program in this state university system that we are in and a lot of top schools have this program,” he said.
Academic Affairs Director Mark Morgan disagreed with Jambrek and said the program itself has no support and it was bad policy to bring up this proposal. Morgan also said that if the program is dead already, it’s not technically something that the Student Senate can just fund with the Blugold Commitment.
“The department chair (of Music Therapy) didn’t think it was a good idea to bring the program back and the Dean of the college also didn’t think it was a good idea,” he said. “There is not much curriculum support for the program, so even if we put money towards it, the program won’t come back.”
Finance Director Jacob Kampen also agreed it wasn’t a good idea to reinstate the Music Therapy program because it wasn’t a realistic goal at the moment.
“We had to say a ton of ‘no’ to many proposals because there is simply not enough money,” he said.
The amendment was rejected by a 10-16-0 vote and Jambrek, who believes the program was incorrectly cut in the first place, said he was upset because the Student Body didn’t back him up. But overall, Jambrek is happy with how the Blugold Commitment money
“I’m very excited with the opportunity that the Blugold Commitment is creating,” he said. “The $9.5 million that we are spending tonight is going to help a lot of students.”
Morgan said the Blugold Commitment received many great proposals for funding and although not enough money was available, he believes they allocated the money very well. The proposal that received the most funding, around $960,852, was the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs, which supports faculty-mentored student research and scholarly projects.
“Outside of Madison, you won’t find this level of research that we have in Eau Claire anywhere in the UW System,” Morgan said. “Making sure that we are maintaining and expanding this program (of research) is crucial in selling Eau Claire as a unique opportunity.”