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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Regents approve budget proposals, employment contracts


Kyle Mittan / Arizona Daily Wildcat

President Ann Weaver Hart, right, presented the UA’s budget proposal for the fiscal year 2014, which was approved by the Arizona Board of Regents on Thursday. Hart’s proposal included several millions intended to fund the College of Medicine in Phoenix, the university’s land grant mission and research instruments.

FLAGSTAFF — The Arizona Board of Regents approved the UA’s budget proposal for the fiscal year of 2014, along with the requests for the two other state universities, in the board’s meeting on Thursday.

The funding requested is intended to address a number of issues, including building renewals, program improvements and the purchase of tangible resources like instruments for various research departments.

The board also addressed a number of items on the consent agenda, which primarily comprised of employee contracts for approval. The regents approved several contracts for a number of head coaches, many of whom received raises.

An approval was also made for the appointment of Andrew Comrie as vice president of academic affairs and provost, who will serve in the position until July 1 of next year while UA administration searches for a replacement. Comrie is temporarily taking the place of Jacqueline Mok, who left at the end of the semester. He will return to his position as vice president of research when the year is up.

President Hart, during her first regents meeting since taking office, presented the UA’s budget request for the fiscal year of 2013-2014. Hart framed her request around the mission of the university, explaining how each request pertained to and helped fulfill the mission statement.

Hart requested $8 million to help the further development of the College of Medicine in Phoenix, which will go into accreditation and enrollment.

She then requested $6.3 million to go to the a portion of the university’s land grant mission, specifically, the Cooperative Extension Program, which provides educational programs to people in rural areas of the state.

“In the 21st century, that partnership between our states, the counties, the federal government and the land-grant universities is critical to fulfilling our commitment to the counties,” she said, adding that the program as it stands now is facing “severe limitations.”

Hart’s third and final request in her decisions package presentation was for $40 million to go toward what she referred to as “big, bold, bodacious research instruments.” The instruments would be operated by the UA, but shared among other institutions in an effort to bring other research groups to the university.

“One of the responsibilities we have is to provide a resource for this big, high-quality research that no single [public institution] could ever provide with an instrument that costs far more than any research grant is ever going to cover,” she added.

The regents approved budget proposals for all three state universities, which will then go to the governor’s office for another approval process.

Here are how the salaries break down for the employee contracts approved by the board on Thursday:

  • Head baseball coach Andy Lopez — $160,000
  • Head track and field coach Fred Harvey — $120,000
  • Head women’s tennis coach Vicky Maes — $74,000
  • Head gymnastics coach William Ryden — $100,000
  • Head men’s golf coach James Anderson — $85,000
  • Vice President of Academic Affairs and Provost Andrew Comrie — $300,000

Friday’s meeting

The final portion of the regents’ meeting focused primarily on Northern Arizona University’s research presentation, where they reported to the regents their research initiatives involving genetic biodiversity.

“We need to spark science interests throughout the state,” said Regent LuAnn Leonard, speaking largely of K-12 areas, and schools on Native American reservations.

NAU Vice President of Research William Grabe and his team said they were working with institutions throughout the state to further the research, and were also reaching out to high schools within the area to promote interest in science areas.

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