Time to spring ahead

A busy spring semester 2013 beckons the campus

1/18/2013 | By: John Trent  |

The tell-tale signs were already in place the morning of Friday, Jan. 18.

Students bundled against the frosty chill, some accompanied by friends and family, scurried in and out of the ASUN bookstore in the Joe Crowley Student Union, book bags in hand.

In the line at the JCSU Starbucks, University faculty and staff, people like College of Science Dean Jeff Thompson and Christina Cho, the college's coordinator of advisement, recruitment and retention, were awaiting their beverages before heading off to spring semester orientation activities. Not far away, orientation staff were huddled up, preparing to lead groups of students through campus tours.

Outside again, a new student, a printed-out copy of her tuition and fees in hand, stopped a passer-by to ask where the Fitzgerald Student Services Building was located.

The pace of campus has quickened. It's time once again for the University to gear up for the beginning of spring semester classes on Jan. 22.

Here are a few pieces of news, initiatives, events and people who in the next few months promise to play a prominent role in narrative of the spring semester:

The 77th regular session of the Nevada State Legislature

Each odd-numbered year holds particular interest for the state of Nevada with the convening of the state legislature. This year's session begins on Feb. 4 in Carson City. Gov. Brian Sandoval's "State of the State" address and transmittal of his $6.5 billion state budget proposal to the state legislature on Jan. 16 included several potentially positive developments for the University, including his announcement that he will support restoration of merit and longevity pay during the second year of the biennium and for the number of furlough days to be cut in half. Also, a "Day Of Education," featuring hundreds students from all NSHE institutions in Carson City, will be held on Feb. 25. During a Faculty Senate meeting in the fall, Orion Cuffe, president of the GSA, said the idea behind the event is to "get students and faculty and anyone else interested involved in talking about education with our legislators." Cuffe said the 2011 version of the day was a success: "I do believe we changed some minds (in talking with legislators two years ago)."

Student Achievement Center

Gov. Sandoval's proposed capital improvement budget includes support for the construction planning and site preparation phase for the proposed Student Achievement Center. The center, which would be built on the site of the closed Getchell Library and would house multiple student success and resource centers, received the endorsement of the Board of Regents during their Jan. 11 meeting. President Marc Johnson will talk more about the Student Achievement Center during his "State of the University" address on Feb. 7 at 3 p.m. in the Joe Crowley Student Union.

Provost Kevin Carman

The University's new executive vice president and provost begins work Feb. 1. He comes to campus from Louisiana State University, where he served as dean of the College of Science.  Upon announcement of his hiring in October, Carman noted that he was excited about his new position and that he was impressed with the University and its potential: "While the University has clearly gone through a challenging period over the past few years, I am impressed by the palpable optimism and deep sense of commitment that is evident among the faculty, staff, administration and students."

New Commencement structure

The University will implement a new Commencement Ceremony structure that will include bachelor's degree ceremonies on Friday and Saturday, May 17-18.  On Friday, students from the College of Agriculture, Biotechnology and Natural Resources, the College of Business, the College of Education, the College of Engineering and the Division of Health Sciences will receive bachelor's degrees. On Saturday, students from the Donald W. Reynolds of School of Journalism, College of Liberal Arts and College of Science will receive bachelor's degrees. These ceremonies will feature 8 a.m. lineups. The advanced degree ceremony will continue to be held on Friday afternoon/evening with a 4:45 p.m. lineup. All three ceremonies will be held on the Quad.


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