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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Arizona Board of Regents considers new programs, board officers

During the afternoon session of the Arizona Board of Regents meeting last Thursday, the board heard presentations ranging from new chair nominees to the basketball team.

Pearl Chang Esau, president and CEO of Expect More Arizona, told the board about her organization and the work it is doing to prepare children for higher education.

Expect More Arizona is working to make public education a priority by raising public awareness of political issues and highlighting excellence, Esau said.

The education advocacy organization is working to deepen relationships with the UA, Arizona State University and Northern Arizona University. After Esau showed a list of businesses and organizations that are partnering with Expect More Arizona, Chairman Rick Myers said he would love for the board to also be a partner.

Myers nominated Regent Greg Patterson to work closely with Expect More Arizona, strengthening their relationship with the board of regents.

The board of regents took a brief intermission to honor Arizona men’s basketball head coach Sean Miller, athletic director Greg Byrne and the men’s basketball team on their season.

“Whether it’s the athletes participating in sports, whether it’s the fans going to the games, whether it’s the people in the community who are providing their money to support,” Myers said, “it’s very much part of the culture and the experience that all our students are benefiting from.”

After a few photos and a cake decorated with “33,” for the number of wins the team had this season, the board began a discussion on the transition for students starting college.

Patterson proposed an idea to improve freshman retention by identifying students who could be in danger of failing out and create provisional acceptance strategies.

“Show us a year or semester of success at your local community college,” Patterson said, “and we will still keep you with the cohort in which you were accepted.”

The students would enter the chosen university they were accepted into as sophomores, depending on the amount of time and success they had at a community college.

“It seems to me that they need a transition between high school and college,” Patterson said.

ASU President Michael M. Crow discussed a similar program that ASU had tried previously, which did not show promising results. Crow said the students did not perform well in the community college setting, knowing that they had been accepted to a state university.

The board agreed to look deeper into the findings to attempt to smoothen the transition that freshmen often struggle with.

“I think it is positive and exciting for the board to delve into how all this works,” Crow said.

After this discussion, Regent Ram Krishna announced the nominations for the upcoming board officers.

The nominating committee recommended Regent and Vice Chair Mark Killian as the new chairman, current chairman Myers as treasurer and Regent Jay Heiler as vice chair.

The nominees accepted their one-year-term positions without further discussion, and the motion was carried.

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