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Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs condemns ABOR: ‘Enough needs to be enough’

Marcos+Esparza%2C+a+graduate+student%2C+faces+the+crowd+to+give+a+speech+on+Feb.+5+in+front+of+the+Administration+building.+United+Campus+Workers+Arizona+protested+staff+and+faculty+layoffs+amidst+the+financial+crisis.+
Emma Diaz
Marcos Esparza, a graduate student, faces the crowd to give a speech on Feb. 5 in front of the Administration building. United Campus Workers Arizona protested staff and faculty layoffs amidst the financial crisis.

Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs called for a meeting with the Arizona Board of Regents and University of Arizona leadership in response to UA Global concerns and Chair Fred DuVal’s comments to faculty that took place at last week’s ABOR meeting

Hobbs referenced conflicting accounts she received from the board regarding the acquisition of Ashford University which is now UA Global Campus, an issue she has repeatedly brought up over the past few months.

Hobbs also referenced another major point of contention at the Feb. 22 ABOR meeting: the denouncement of the UA Faculty Senate by the board. After ABOR Chair Fred DuVal refuted Faculty Chair Leila Hudson’s accusations about his supposed conflict of interest, DuVal also said he had hired an attorney and would be seeking legal remedies. 

This course of action angered Hobbs, who called the behavior of some members of the board and their attacks on UA faculty “appalling” and “unacceptable.”

“ABOR members attacking faculty, even going so far as threatening a lawsuit, is not leadership […]. I cannot be more clear: because of Chair Duval and the Board’s actions, university employees are going to lose their jobs. Attacking faculty is not, and never will be, the answer,” Hobbs’ statement said. “Instead of taking any accountability and guiding with a steady hand, ABOR is circling the wagons and announcing they are litigating personal grudges during Board meetings.”

In her Feb. 26 statement, Hobbs expressed a similar sense of urgency that has run through each of her prior declarations to ABOR. Just last month, Hobbs sent a letter to the board that read: “the situation cannot afford any future missteps. The plan ahead must be implemented with purpose and fidelity.”

Last week, the board sent a letter to the governor’s office that detailed the acquisition of UA Global, a response to one of the demands made in Hobbs’ Jan. letter. However, Hobbs seemed unhappy with this report, saying in her statement that “new facts have come to light that once again show the Arizona Board of Regents failed in their oversight role and highlight a university leadership that was clueless as to their own finances […]. ABOR has told conflicting stories to me, the press, and the public about the purchase of [UA Global].”

The governor’s statement concluded: “This lack of accountability and continued scapegoating can no longer continue. I am demanding an in-person meeting with ABOR leadership and [President Dr. Robert C.  Robbins] immediately where we will discuss next steps.”


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