Yudof looks to grad students’ and U’s future in GAPSA speech

by Kelly Hildebrandt

University President Mark Yudof began his speech to the Graduate and Professional Student Assembly meeting Monday night with a pop quiz:
“If the number two pencil is the most popular pencil to use, why is it still number two?”
Yudof soon got down to business, though, addressing the future of graduate students at the University and a variety of other subjects including the budget and the recent allegations against the University basketball team. He explained that taxpayers deserve answers regarding the academic fraud allegations facing the program.
GAPSA President Cheryl Jorgensen invited Yudof to the spring quarter’s first assembly meeting as a chance for him to meet the representatives from the professional and graduate schools on campus.
As the University moves into the 21st century, Yudof said there would be a reunification of knowledge as opposed to the various subdivisions that have been created academically over the last century.
“We need people who are sort of human Netscape browsers,” he said.
Yudof elaborated, explaining that it is the job of graduate students to bring knowledge out of the new available information and, when they leave the University, they are the best tool for disseminating that new information.
“It is a great time,” Yudof said. “What is between your ears is really more important than anything else.”
During a brief question and answer period, Albert Nakano, former president of the Council of Graduate Students, asked Yudof to address faculty compensation and asked if more faculty would be hired.
Although Yudof said over the last seven years the University has lost about 300 faculty because of budget cuts, this year’s budget proposal is likely to bring back about 100 of those lost positions.
“We’ve invested in the buildings; now is the time to invest in the people,” he said.
During the meeting, Jorgensen also announced that Gov. Jesse Ventura accepted a proclamation naming the week of April 11 “Graduate and Professional Student Appreciation Week.”
In addition to a variety of events, Jorgensen said graduate and professional students will receive discount cards, which they will be able to use at a variety of businesses around campus.