Grad rates at U improving

The University ranks second in the nation for the most graduate students.

by Anna Weggel

The University’s enrollment increased 2.3 percent during the last year, a difference officials attribute to an increase in graduate students.

John Ziegenhagen, director of Institutional Evaluation and Accountability Studies, presented enrollment data at the Board of Regents meeting Thursday. The University’s enrollment is 65,247 students this year.

Ziegenhagen said the University is ranked second in the country for the most graduate students – behind New York University – with a total of 13,841.

He also presented the latest graduation rates for the University of Minnesota, noting that there has been steady improvement in the rates.

The 2000 four-year graduation rate was 32.3 percent, the 1999 five-year rate was 56 percent and the 1998 six-year rate was 56.9 percent.

However, Ziegenhagen said the University of Minnesota has not seen the full impact of the 13-credit requirement it recently adopted, as two more years are necessary to accurately compute the figures.

University Senate

A regents committee carried a motion Thursday to reorganize the University of Minnesota Senate.

Dan Feeney, a department of veterinary clinical sciences professor who headed up the proposal, said the Faculty and Student senates will stay the same, but there will be organizational changes made in the University Senate.

Feeney said there will be 25 new civil service workers and 25 new people from academic professional ranks.

But to do this, the University Senate will be giving up approximately 30 faculty seats and eight student seats, Feeney said.

He said the Student Senate and Faculty Senate are still the same and still have a “direct reporting line to the president.”

“It’s not like the University Senate overarches all the other senates,” he said. “They are all sort of peers, equals.

“It provides a common ground for the meeting of all employee classes.”

Along with these changes, Feeney said, the University Senate is doing away with its Twin Cities Campus Assembly and will be fitting issues normally covered in the assembly into the regular sessions.

“Very few issues came up that were Twin Cities only,” Feeney said.

But Johanna Farmer, a Student Senate member at the University of Minnesota’s Morris campus, said her senators are discontent with the reorganization.

“A lot of the time, there is a huge focus on the Twin Cities campus,” she said. “They forget the University system exists.”

Farmer said the Morris campus has to lose one of its four student seats in the University Senate.

“Our Student Senate is upset, because we’re losing a (senator),” she said. “That’s going to be a fourth of our voice.”