Tuition hike possible
Published: Monday, March 4, 2013
Updated: Wednesday, March 6, 2013 15:03
Tax return fraud was once more the central topic of Friday’s faculty senate meeting, with even ASU Chancellor Tim Hudson stepping in to address the increasingly widespread issue. To date, the identity information of 94 faculty members has been compromised in a still unresolved electronic security breech.
“We are certainly sorry this happened, it is a terrible thing to happen to anyone,” Hudson said.
Len Frey, vice chancellor for finance, said, “We are continuing to take this matter very seriously, and are aggressively pursuing this. We have law enforcement involved on the state, local and campus level trying to resolve this issue.”
“There are some administrative measures we are still taking,” Frey said. “We have spoken to the Social Security Administration, we are trying to work with a representative out of Little Rock to do a conference call question-and-answer session and we are in the process of reaching out to the Attorney General’s office.”
For now, faculty still need to be aware of the potential for fraudulent tax return filings and keep abreast of the situation by filing their own returns as soon as possible, according to Lori Winn of human resources. “The sooner you file, the better off you are,” she said.
“You may beat (the fraudulent filers) to the punch but that doesn’t change the fact that they have the data,” Frey added as a cautionary warning for early filers.
“We want to have another information session next week for the impacted individuals,” Frey said. “We had our entire Information Technology staff at the last meeting.”
Several faculty who had attended the previous meeting testified to its helpfulness. “I left that meeting very encouraged, knowing that measures were being taken to protect us, that the school was doing all it can to help us,” Win Bridges of the English and philosophy department said.
Senate Chair Julie Isaacson emphasized the need for faculty to remain united in the face of this crisis. “It was devastating, but was not intentional. We need to rally the troops,” Isaacson said.
Hudson brought additional topics before the senate, including proposed budget developments. “We are trying to build a budget and we want to look at two things,” he said.
“One of our first priorities needs to be holding onto the raises for faculty,” he said. “This is good for us, it’s good for the staff and it’s good for the students in ensuring that they have the best faculty members as possible.”
The second priority, Hudson said, is completing the ongoing construction projects on campus. “We have to get the Liberal Arts building finished,” he said.
“People ask where that money will come from, and most likely we will have to ask the board (of trustees) for a tuition increase,” Hudson said. “Beyond that, we are looking for ways to be leaner in our spending and allocate our dollars to the raises, continued research and the Liberal Arts (building).”
Hudson also brought to the senate’s attention the continuing efforts to preserve and restore the Kays House, the former residence of ASU’s first president V.C. Kays. “I think it’s important if you care about this to get involved,” Hudson said. “If we can say this percentage of faculty are involved, that makes it that much better when we take this before the board of trustees.”
John Hall, of the psychology department, agreed. “There’s strength in numbers,” he said. “Hopefully we will get enough money secured to fix up the outside and then later on down the road we can start looking at the inside.”
Isaacson hopes the board will recognize the importance of resolving the situation.
“We’ve seen a lot of community and alumni involvement,” Isaacson said. “It would be nice if Hudson could go to the board and say that there is a lot of support behind this.”