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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Live coverage, Arizona Board of Regents meeting

4:15 p.m.

The regents have adjourned for the day. Their meeting will resume tomorrow morning at 9 a.m. in the Grand Ballroom of the Student Union Memorial Center.

3:44 p.m.

The regents unanimously approved the 2011 Financial Aid Report, which compiled data from a host of sources linked to financial aid.

Regent Anne Mariucci said she was concerned with the magnitude of student loans in the greater scheme of financial aid, and said she is wary of the possibility of a financial aid “bubble,” where graduates will not be able to pay back their loans.

“You live in this world where you are living with this misalignment every day,” Mariccui said. “Where is this headed, where does this end and how does this have a happy ending?”

Regent Dennis DeConcini said it was important to convey these concerns to the state legislature, and asked for input on how best to do that. Regent Bob McLendon, who served in the state legislature from 1982 to 2000, said the economic benefits of higher education must be stressed.

“Folks at the capitol need to understand that education … is indeed an investment and treat it as such instead of an expense,” he said.

McLendon said that, although there is no such thing as a “free lunch,” the importance of higher education well merits state funding.

“It (higher education) needs to become a high priority, if not the highest priority,” he said.

Regent Mark Killian said dwindling state funding is placing an additional burden on students and their families.

“The policymakers have to decide how much they want education to cost, and what the trade off is to society,” he said.

3:18 p.m.

The regents have unanimously approved the contract for the new UA’s head football coach, Rich Rodriguez, but not without some debate. Regent Ernest Calderon raised concerns over how the details of the hiring became public, and the lack of input and oversight from the regents into the process.

“This approach is not acceptable,” Calderon said.

Calderon also moved that a set of protocol and guidelines be set in order to ensure that regents are always involved throughout the process of multi-year athletic contracts. Calderon specified that football, baseball, and men’s and women’s basketball be subject to that protocol.

“At the very end of the day, the governance role and accountability of the regents is paramount,” Calderon said.

UA President Eugene Sander said he supported the measure, and regrets the relative lack of regent input into the hire.

“Hopefully, we won’t have to be doing this soon in the future, but I do agree that it will be important,” Sander said.

3:06 p.m.

Already wearing a UA tie, Arizona State University student regent Tyler Bowyer had a UA pin placed on his lapel by the UA’s student regent, William Holmes, because of a bet on the outcome of the UA-ASU football game.

2:34 p.m

The regents meeting are getting set to resume in the next couple of minutes. The board will discuss financial aid plans for the 2012 and 2013 fiscal years and the contract of new head fotbal coach Rich Rodriguez during its afternoon session.

11:40 a.m.

UA President Eugene Sander explained to the board that public land grant universities are redefining their roles. The UA’s outreach programs have changed with time, Sander said, due to factors like economic pressures.
“We are doing significant outreach as a function of research programs and elsewhere,” he said.
Melissa Vito, the UA’s vice president of student affairs, presented the UA’s Early Academic Outreach program to the board as an example. The program educates Arizona families about financing their child’s future college education and finds creative ways and resources to help them do so. UA faculty connects with parents in the program both on and off campus, she said.
“The goal is to make sure parents and students feel comfortable knowing that Arizona universities are a place that belong to them,” said Keith Humphrey, the UA’s dean of students.

11:13 a.m.

ABOR President Tom Anderes is explaining the four main goals of ABOR:
1) Educational excellence and access, such as increasing the number of bachelor’s degrees awarded.
2) Research excellence, such as increasing the total number of research expenditures.
3) Workforce and community, such as engaging the impact of community activities.
4) Productivity, such as the number of employed graduates who stay in Arizona.

If each Arizona university meets their performance metrics in the four categories, the board will ask them to try and increase their performance numbers and productivity.

If each Arizona university does not meet their performance metrics numbers, the board will ask them why they are not, and help figure out how to get them back on track.

10: 52 a.m.
ABOR passed a resolution in light of the recent situation at Penn State. Violence and harassment within Arizona university communities must be immediately reported to law enforcement, and zero tolerance policy of abuse and violence will be conducted within the Arizona university system.

The motion carried unanimously.

10:27 a.m.

We’re in the Grand Ballroom of the Student Union Memorial Center. The meeting is scheduled to start momentarily.

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