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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    “Live updates from the Arizona Board of Regents, Day Two”

    Friday

    1:24 p.m.

    The regents passed changes to the board of UA Healthcare and have ended their meeting.

    11:30 a.m.

    The regents will reconvene at 1 p.m. to discuss their last agenda item.

    11:20 a.m.

    The regents elected Regent DuVal as chair, Regent McClendon as vice chair, Regent Leonard as secretary and Regent Killian as treasurer

    11:00 a.m.

    The regents heard a report from Getting Ahead on low-cost degree options. Regent DuVal compared the relationship between Arizona and universities to a failed marriage where “”one partner wants to get out.””

    10:30 a.m.

    Shelton presented the UA’s Strategic Business Plan, which focused on four main areas: educational excellence, research excellence, workforce and community development and productivity. Goals include increasing productivity, improving efficiency and maximizing quality in each area.

    Shelton also presented the financial challenges to achieving these goals. State support for the UA education budget will drop from 42 percent to 23 percent by 2020, according to his report. Resident tuition will comprise 25 percent of the funding while non-resident tuition will comprise 34 percent of the budget by 2020.

    “”It does really hit us in the face that now the state is spending less than half the money it costs to educate a student in Arizona,”” said Regent Myers. ””The rest is paid by the students and their family.””

    10:07 a.m.

    The regents approve two ground leases for NAU to develop new student housing on its Flagstaff campus.

    10:02 a.m.

    The regents unanimously approved the revised proposals for residence hall rates. The UA will raise rates 3.5 percent across the board. NAU will raise rates 2.99 percent and ASU maintained its proposal from yesterday.

    “”Our residence halls are really learning communities,”” said Melissa Vito, vice president for Student Affairs. They are not just apartment complexes””

    9:52 a.m.

    Regent Myers leads the presentation of the Technology Transfer Reports.

    Invention disclosures and patents issued to AZ universities have increased since 2009, according to the reports.

    “”The consolidated focus is precisely what this board wants,”” said Regent Calderon. ””We appreciate you all working together, and I think we’ll achieve greatness by doing that.””

    9:40 a.m.

    GPSC President Emily Connally said the UA tuition rebates will put the quality of education in jeopardy.

    “”You’ve now sacrificed hundreds of jobs and depleted our savings,”” she said.

    9:27 a.m.

    Chair Mariucci started the meeting with a call to the audience.

    8:51 a.m.

    The regents will begin the second day of their meeting in about 10 minutes.

    Thursday

    5:00 p.m.

    The regents unanimously approved the budget for the Technology Initiative and Research Fund for the next five years. Regent Ginther abstained, citing a conflict of interest.

    The regents have ended for the day and will begin tomorrow at 9:00 a.m. in the Student Union Memorial Center.

    4:45 p.m.

    A motion to increase residence hall and housing rates for next year fail 3 to 5.

    “”There is no way on this green earth that you can convince me to justify a 7 percent increase,”” said Regent Mark Killian. ””It’s insane.””

    The matter has been tabled until tomorrow when new proposals will be submitted.

    4:35 p.m.

    The Regents passed tuition and fee proposals for all three universities 7 to 2 with the following changes: all resident undergraduates at UA will receive a $750 financial aid award, resident undergraduates at NAU entering the pledge program in 2011 will receive a $350 financial aid award and ASU will eliminate $6 million from its operating costs.

    Differential tuition and class fees were also approved.

    Regent Killian voted yes but said the proposals were too high given the economic conditions.

    “”But, the legislature has given us no choice.,”” he said. “”We’re making the best of a very bad situation.””

    4:05 p.m.

    A motion is passed 8 to 1 to accept the proposed NAU tuition proposal but give a $350 financial aid award to new resident students entering the pledge program in 2011.

    3:45 p.m. 

    The regents have recessed until 4 p.m. to consider how Myers’ amendment will affect NAU. 

    3:42 p.m. 

    The regents have passed Myers’ amendment, which will approve both NAU’s and the UA’s tuition proposals, but set aside a $750 financial aid award for all UA resident, undergraduate students and do the same for NAU resident, undergraduate students for an amount to be determined later. The amendment passed six votes to three, with Mariucci, DeConcini and Killian dissenting. 

    3:14 p.m. 

    Regent Myers has proposed an amendment to approve all three tuition and fee recommendations, but instruct the presidents of NAU and the UA to use their surplus reserve funds to give scholarship awards to those students, specifically $500 to UA resident undergraduate students. Mariucci said this is equitable to a one-third rebate to students. 

    2:52 p.m. 

    Regent DeConcini has offered another amendment to Mariucci’s original motion to do away with any increases in differential tuition and fees that affect freshmen or sophomore, except the honors program fee at NAU.  

    All three university presidents said the amendment could have far-reaching effects on financial aid, specifically merit-based aid. Shelton said need-based aid could also be affected since the UA would lose about five to six million it normally would place into financial aid. 

    Nelson said DeConcini’s amendment would cost the universities a little more than 8 million in revenue. 

    DeConcini’s amendment passed by a vote of eight to one. Regent Myers was the only dissenting vote. 

    2:45 p.m. 

    Regent Myers said he needs to remind the board that approving the proposals as-is doesn’t account the additional $28 million to universities given by the legislature and that any reduction in those proposals would also be subject to that. 

    “”I understand the stress the universities are under,”” DeConcini said. 

    DeConcini’s amendment failed six votes to three. Regents DeConcini, Calderon and LuAnn Leonard voted in favor.  

    2:36 p.m. 

    Killian’s amendment that would have raised tuition by five percent across the board from last year fails 1 vote to 8. Killian was the only supporter. 

    2:27 p.m.

    A quick calculation by Glen Nelson, regents vice president for finance and chief financial officer, says that Killian’s flat proposal would result in a loss of $62 million in gross revenue from tuition. 

    2:18 p.m.

    Regent DeConcini proposed a motion that would reduce the proposed undergraduate resident tuition rates for next year at the UA and ASU by five percentage points, and at NAU by two percentage points.  DeConcini’s motion would not affect any other tuition proposal categories or fees. 

    Regent Killian moved to amend DeConcini’s amendment to raise tuition by five percent across the board, regardless of residency or class standing. 

    2:09 p.m.

    Emily Fritze, president of the Associated Students of the University of Arizona, said that she questioned whether Mariucci’s proposal might have the effect of deferring higher tuition hikes to younger students.

    “”Once again I do encourage the regents to consider backing off from the current proposals, as I’ve said all along, but I think the current motion at hand does not account for all the consequences,”” Fritze said.   

    2:05 p.m. 

    The board has reconvened. The board will hear reactions from one student from each university to speak on Mariucci’s motion. 

    1:37 p.m.

    The ballroom is slowly filling up as the regents return from lunch. No word yet on when the meeting will reconvene. 

    11:55 a.m. 

    The regents have adjourned for lunch. They are slated to return at 1:30 p.m.

    11:06 a.m. 

    NAU President John Haeger said that Mariucci’s proposal would have far-reaching effects at his university, such as ending its Pledge Program that locks freshman tuition rates for eight semesters, and driving NAU toward bankruptcy. Mariucci said his assertion that her proposal would end the program is “”disingenuous”” and asked why he implemented an additional $10 million in capital improvement projects in this financial climate.

    Haeger responded that he gave the board due notice and the money is for necessary projects. 

    10:44 a.m. 

    Regent Chair Mariucci made a motion that the NAU and UA tuition proposals be tabled “”in their entirety”” and reevaluated in a way that uses all of those institutions’ reserve funds to help offset tuition costs. UA President Robert Shelton said the UA is already planning to use $18 million of its $28 million reserve set-aside for this purpose and his proposal reflects that already. 

    10:18 a.m. 

    Regent Bob McLendon said the state legislature needs to re-prioritize which areas of the budget it elects to cut and said students must be given a strong voice in the tuition setting process.

    “”I’ve heard the pleas out there that they (students) are working one and sometimes two jobs, and trying to raise a family in some cases while going to school,”” McLendon said. “”It’s important to me for those folks because they said they would not be able to continue their education and I know that does not bode well for them down the line.””  

    10:05 a.m. 

    Regent Mark Killian raised issue with the notion that the regents can rely on federal dollars for general funding or financial aid. 

    “”What happens if we wake up one day and the federal government goes belly up and you’re talking big time cuts?”” Killian asked.

    Killian also said that any “”rainy day”” surplus funds need to be used in lieu of tuition or fee increases.

    “”I don’t know how you can go out and charge families the kind of increases we’re talking about,”” Killian said. “”I don’t know anyone who is getting a 22 percent increase in their salary this year.””  

    Regent Rick Myers said the board needs to understand the impact of using those funds, so that certain university programs are not negatively affected. 

    9:56 a.m. 

    Mariucci has opened discussion on tuition and fee proposals for the three Arizona universities, though said she plans to make a motion at the end of the discussion that would alter proposals for two of the three. Mariucci also said that Northern Arizona University and the UA have cash reserves on hand to help offset some of their budget cuts, a result of “”good planning”” and fiscal conservatism.

    Regent Dennis DeConcini said that ASU needs to cut more from its budget before it raises tuition at the levels it is proposing.  

    9:19 a.m. 

    The regents have passed a proposal that will replace the current board system for setting tuition and fees at Arizona universities. Instead of capping tuition at the “”top of the bottom one-third of rates set by all other states for resident undergraduate base tuition and mandatory fees at the senior public universities,”” the regents will now take into account other factors such as student input, Arizona’s median family income and the availability of financial aid. 

    9:11 a.m. 

    The regents have approved all items on their consent agenda. 

    9:10 a.m. 

    Regent Chair Anne Mariucci has called the meeting to order. She begins with introducing the new student regent from Arizona State University. 

    8:52 a.m. 

    We’re on hand in the Grand Ballroom. The regents meeting is slated to begin in about 10 minutes. 

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