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The Daily Wildcat

Tucson, AZ

The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Presidents of all three state universities receive raises amid budget cuts

The September Arizona Board of Regents meeting reconvened Friday morning at Northern Arizona University for an abbreviated day.

The Friday meeting began with statements from ABOR Associate Vice President for Finance and Administration Lorenzo Martinez regarding the finance committee report.

Martinez reported that while the other Arizona universities had plans for new campus projects, the UA did not have any new projects anticipated for its capital improvement plan in the 2016 fiscal year. However, the UA did place a building renewal request for $70.5 million for the 2016 fiscal year.

Following the proposal of new capital improvement plans, Arizona Student Regents Mark Naufel and Jared Gorshe addressed the rest of the board regarding Arizona university students.

Naufel expressed concerns about sexual assault and awareness on Arizona college campuses as well as awareness for the wellbeing of students in general. He also discussed issues of diversity promotion and interactivity with professors during online classes.

Naufel, a current ASU student, takes his classes online to fulfill his degree. While he has the opportunity to meet with professors on campus, Naufel sees a problem with online learning and the lack of communication between teachers and students for those are unable to physically be on campus.

Bruce Fox, president of the NAU Faculty Senate, then presented the report from the Arizona Facilities Council.

Fox’s report echoed the meeting’s theme of education advancement.

“We believe, as faculty, the key to success of the students is our role as teaching scholars to create new knowledge,” Fox said. “We want to have that transformational experience for our students. To move them forward individually and collectively for our nation.”

The regents then moved on to approve performance incentive pay for the three public university presidents.

UA President Ann Weaver Hart was eligible for a $115,000 performance incentive. Just before her bonus went to the board for approval, the regents moved to add an additional $20,000 to help offset housing costs.

President Hart’s performance incentive was approved by the regents, as well as a $150,000 bonus for ASU President Michael Crow and $40,000 for NAU President Rita Cheng, both of whom were also eligible for performance incentives according to goals set by the regents in 2012.

“These institutions have become billion-dollar business enterprises,” Killian Killian, justifying the performance incentives for the university presidents. “If you are going to go out and hire people to run a billion dollar enterprise, you have to invest in them.”

The regents will reconvene for their next round of board meetings on Nov. 19 at the UA.  

Follow Sam Gross and Lauren Renteria on Twitter.

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