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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat



The Arizona Daily Wildcat sent administration-beat reporter Will Ferguson to Flagstaff for the Arizona Board of Regents conference.  Here are some excerpts from the news blog. For more Arizona Board of Regents updates, visit

Shelton supports Obama’s FAFSA legistlation

FLAGSTAFF — The Arizona Board of Regents discussed President Barack Obama’s plan to streamline the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, a federal program designed to provide college tuition for students.

The regents conveyed their support for the president’s three-part plan, which includes a restructuring of the online FAFSA form, modifications to allow students to electronically access information from their tax returns and simplifications to the formula used to calculate the amount of tuition received by students.

The legislation regarding FAFSA is part of House Bill 3221, which was proposed by House Education and Labor Committee Chairman George Miller.

In addition to streamlining FAFSA, H.B. 3221, if passed, will establish a College Completion and Innovation Fund that will fund programs designed to improve college retention rates.

“”Obama’s piece of legislation is very important and we are much in favor of it,”” said UA President Robert Shelton.

Cost of education increasing, state not fulfilling promise

FLAGSTAFF — President Robert Shelton said the UA has been modest and consistent in its budget requests at the Sept. 24 Arizona Board of Regents meeting.

He identified enrollment growth and retention of university faculty and employees as two critical areas where funding are essential.

“”The university has lost roughly 600 positions,”” said Shelton. “”We continue to see the loss of some of our best scholars to other institutions throughout the country.””

ASU president Michael Crowe and NAU president John Haeger agreed with Shelton that funding enrollment growth is a critical issue.

Crowe said the legislature is violating the state constitution by not providing adequate funding for an influx of new students.

“”The legislature has not said to stop enrolling qualified students,”” Crowe said. “”It is not fulfilling its promise to fund these students.””

With nearly 50 percent of Arizona residents on the poverty line, said Haeger, additional tuition increases could put the majority of the state in a situation where they can’t afford higher education.

Universities agree to ask Brewer, Legislature for more money

FLAGSTAFF — The first day of the September Arizona Board of Regents Meeting revolved around talk of an impending budget crisis.

All three presidents of the Arizona universities said the funding request put forth in the fiscal year 2011 operating budget is not sufficient to maintain high academic standards.

Originally the fiscal year 2011 budget called for a $136.4 million increase over the $4.67 billion fiscal year 2010 budget. After discussing the numbers in private session, the regents came up with a new figure that realistically represents the needs of the Arizona State school system: $459.1 million.

“”The message that we heard loud and clear this morning is that we owe it to ourselves to fully express university needs,”” Regents Vice President Fred DuVal said.

In a vote of 7-3 the regents agreed to send an updated request to the governor and state legislature that identified the actual financial needs of the university system.

The new request will include the new budget figure, however, the regents were skeptical as to whether the state legislature will take it seriously.

“”Basically the fact is that we need to present to the governor and the legislature what we have and what we feel the universities need to carry out their mission,”” said Regent Bob McLendon. “”I think it’s important we put it all out there in black and white what it is we deem to be necessary. That’s our job.””

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