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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Budget, academics on agenda

The Arizona Board of Regents will be holding its Annual Operational and Financial Review meeting at the Student Union Memorial Center today. 

Meetings began Wednesday and will continue today, allowing UA leaders to present on operations, performance and finances in order to help the board plan tuition and other budget settings.

UA President Ann Weaver Hart and other senior officials will be updating the board of regents on progress made on Never Settle, the UA’s academic and strategic business plan, since it was first introduced last December, according to Chris Sigurdson, vice president of communications for University Relations at the UA.

During the meeting’s call to audience an organizing committee for the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences said it hopes to communicate with officials regarding the proposed budget that Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey introduced in January.

“In light of recent budget cuts, a lot of us are going to take this opportunity to respond to the call to audience through community and student input,” said Alex Karaman, a member of the committee.

Ducey proposed a $75 million cut in funding to higher education, which would mean about a $22 million cut to the UA. The budget is so far only a proposal and has not yet been approved by the legislature, but Ducey did have support from the Senate and House at the State of the State address where he introduced the budget.

Andrew Comrie, provost of the UA, said that if the cuts made were in line with those proposed, it would be ideal to take those cuts and rather than freeze everything, see if the UA can make some type of investment while assessing the budget cuts. This was proposed, Comrie said, for the same reason that the UA told Ducey to refrain from investing in higher education. 

“We should walk that talk and keep investing,” Comrie said at the meeting for the Strategic Planning and Budget Advisory Committee Wednesday.

Karaman said he hopes the board gives students and faculty transparency in the decision-making process when it comes to the budget, because proposed cuts will likely have a significant effect on the quality of life of employees and students. 

The agenda for the meeting only gives 15 minutes for the call to audience, and Karaman said he expects at least a few dozen people comprised of faculty, students and committee members to attend the meeting to give their suggestions on a better approach to higher education funding. 

“There’s a lot of people who want to have their voices heard and have input to better higher education in Arizona,” Karaman said. “We are excited and curious to hear how [the board] feels.”

The call to audience begins at 8:45 a.m. for community members who wish to voice their opinions on the proposed budget.


Follow Adriana Espinosa on Twitter.

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