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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Arizona Board of Regents to vote on tuition, fees

The Arizona Board of Regents will hold a public meeting today at 9:30 a.m. in the North Ballroom and Catalina Room to set the base tuition and mandatory fees for the 2013-14 academic year.

Although the board members will hear comments from the general public regarding items listed on their agenda, they will not be discussing tuition or fees, since they already held a public tuition hearing last Wednesday.

However, there will likely be a lot of discussion regarding the subject among board members, according to Chairman Rick Myers.

“At this point, I think the board, you know, has had many emails from people, and we had the public session the other night, and now it’s a chance for the presidents to one last time put their recommendations on the table,” Myers said. “The regents will discuss it and then I anticipate the regents will vote on all the proposals.”

From 2008 to 2012, education and general expenditures decreased by 8.8 percent, said Sarah Harper, a spokeswoman for the board of regents, during a press briefing on Tuesday.

During this same period, enrollment has increased 17 percent, by 23,000 students — the equivalent of adding another Northern Arizona University to the state, Harper said.

However, when looking at peer institutions across the nation, tuition for Arizona universities ranges from 10 to 20 percent less than for others, Harper added.

“We see that as an indicator of the universities really increasing their efficiencies,” Harper said. “Looking for other revenue streams and being able to reduce their expenditures has allowed them
also to keep the tuition prices — increases — at what they are.”

Myers said that although he believes the presidents and universities have tried to be as efficient as possible, tuition cannot keep rising.

“We have to look at getting more support again from the state, look at other sources of revenue, so that we can do everything we can to make the universities as accessible as they can be for everyone,” Myers said. “That includes the fees, that includes the housing … the total expenses that
students see as they want to attend the universities.”

The board of regents will also set the rates for the residence halls at all three Arizona universities, leased apartments for the UA and meal plans for Arizona State University and NAU.

Myers said he anticipates the meeting to be more efficient today than it has been in prior years, since the board of regents held a public Business and Finance Committee meeting last Friday. At the meeting, individual regents were able to ask university presidents questions regarding their proposals. The board was also able to spend more time looking over the proposals in detail.

“We hope they support our tuition request,” said Andrew Comrie, provost and senior vice president for Academic Affairs. “We have support from ASUA [Associated Students of the University of Arizona] and GPSC [Graduate and Professional Student Council]. Katy [Murray] and Zach [Brooks] both got their organizations to vote in it, so that’s encouraging too.”

At 12:15 p.m., the board will convene in executive session in the Tucson Room in the Student Union Memorial Center to discuss items on the agenda and conduct a review of assignments with UA President Ann Weaver Hart. The board will then reconvene in the North Ballroom and Catalina Room at 2:15 p.m. to continue hearing items on the agenda.

Morgan Abraham, president-elect for the Associated Students of the University of Arizona, said he plans to attend the meeting today.

“As far as the 3 percent increase, it seems everyone I’m talking to, myself included, are on board for that,” Abraham said. “It sucks that we have to swallow it, but it’s not as bad as it could be, and I think it is necessary to make sure the U of A keeps its prestige level.”

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