Barrett’s Dean Mark Jacobs and Downtown campus Associate Dean for Barrett, the Honors College, Laura Peck answered questions submitted by students via e-mail as well as questions from the group of students that attended the meeting, with most of the questions relating to the new Barrett program fee increase that the Arizona Board of Regents approved earlier in the semester.
The fee increase will double the original Barrett fee of $250 per semester to $500 per semester for all incoming freshmen to Barrett next year while slowly raising the fee for current students each academic year. For all current 2009-10 students returning for the 2010-11 academic year the fee will be $350 per semester, for the 2011-12 academic year the fee will raise to $450 per semester and finally by the 2012-13 academic year all students will pay $500 per semester.
Jacobs said the college had applied for the fee increase in order to keep up the college’s quality of education in light of the state’s budget cuts last year.
“We managed to keep all of our faculty (during the original budget cuts),” Jacobs said, but added that they had to make several sacrifices from student programs to make up the shortfall.
Jacobs said money from the fee increase will have a great effect on the Barrett at the Downtown campus since it has the second largest population of honors students of the four campuses.
Downtown students will “get a lot of the attention,” Jacobs said. “We just opened the new complex in Tempe, which is very close to what we want to do there, but now it is time for us to look at the other campuses.”
One area mentioned by Jacobs that will get the benefit of the money is the new Barrett downtown facility, which will be where Enrollment Service’s current location is on the first floor of the University Center.
Barrett will move from their current facilities, which are located in the Career Services corridor at the Walter Cronkite School, around July. The new facilities will include offices for the current downtown faculty while adding an area where students could meet between classes to do homework.
Jacobs said that the benefits of the new fee will likely be seen in the addition of community computers to the student area.
Journalism freshman Sara Steffan said she felt the new facilities would help create a more central place for downtown Barrett students to meet.
“It will open it up a lot more for students in Barrett,” she said, “Right now they are only able to get together on resident floors, but (the new facilities) will provide a place for all the commuters, as well as the students on campus, to meet and hang out.”
Lexy Bahn, who is also a journalism freshman, said she felt the new space would help students get better one on one time with the Barrett counselors. She also said that she understood why the fee is necessary for Barrett.
“As frustrating as it is, it’s necessary,” she said, “It goes towards making Barrett successful, and I want Barrett to be successful because that is the reason why I joined it.”
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