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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

ASU makes UA sole backer of Phoenix medical college

After being operational for three years, Arizona State University will hand over full economic responsibility of the College of Medicine — Phoenix to the UA pending Arizona Board of Regents approval.

“”With the Arizona state budget situation, it’s better for both universities to concentrate their efforts on their own priorities and projects, so that’s why the decision was made,”” said Terri Shafer, associate vice president of marketing and strategic communication in the public affairs office at ASU. “”It’s a reality of the economic times.””

Shafer said in the face of the new ABOR decision to cut 2.75 percent of salaries at all three Arizona universities that “”it was truly a financial decision,”” but ASU will still be cooperating with the college in other areas.

“”We still have to sort out some of the details of what we’ll be doing going forward,”” she said. “”The announcement was made, but not everything has been determined yet, so we will have to just watch over the next few weeks while we finalize the details.””

The plan for ASU to relinquish their financial obligation will be made during a two-day, special board meeting at the end of the month.

The meeting will feature presentations from both UA President Robert Shelton and ASU President Michael Crow, who have already agreed on the dissolution of the partnership, according to Jennifer Grentz, assistant executive director for public affairs at the Arizona Board of Regents.

“”The first time that (ABOR) President (Ernest) Calderón mentioned it is when we all found out about it,”” Grentz said. “”So, the meeting is the first time it really will be discussed.””

With official approval, the UA will take over financial responsibilities once covered by ASU. The site was split between the three universities, with 6 percent financially covered by Northern Arizona University. The remaining 93 percent is split, with 25 percent covered by ASU and 75 percent by UA.

Bonds issued by the university will cover initial building costs. The payment of those bonds will start in 2016 and will be made up by 80 percent state lottery earnings and 20 percent private donations.

The college will not change in operational status and none of the 120 students should be affected in terms of teaching staff, tuition rates or other negative impacts, according to Shafer and William Crist, UA vice president of health affairs administration.

“”We are disappointed that the funding is so short, that ASU felt the need to pull out, but we do understand,”” Crist said.

The UA will still go ahead on building the new education building and uniting the colleges of nursing, pharmacy and medicine on the Phoenix campus, despite the funding setback.

“”So this (Phoenix) campus and the Tucson campus are going to make a real and very, very robust health science center for Arizona which can then reach out to provide the workforce and the health care research necessary to serve our people and our nation and the world,”” Crist said.

The ABOR meeting, which will finalize the dissolution of the financial partnership of ASU with the College of Medicine, will be held April 30 to May 1.

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