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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

“Rodney Glassman vists UA, pushes higher education efforts for Arizona”

Erich Healy/ Arizona Daily Wildcat

Rodney Glassman speaks at a rally held on the UA Mall October 4th.
Erich Healy
Erich Healy/ Arizona Daily Wildcat Rodney Glassman speaks at a rally held on the UA Mall October 4th.

What are your specific goals for (education in) Arizona in the Senate?

This is no champion for the public school system in our U.S. Senate.

For higher ed, one of the biggest issues that we’re going to have is access to loans so that kids can go to school now … it’s actually not even just a kid thing anymore; it’s so people can get their education. The access to loans is a significant issue. It makes me really sad that some people can’t afford to go to school simply because they can’t access the resources to do it.

We should have a US senator who is going to be a champion for our research institutions. There are a ton of grants, competitive and otherwise. There’s a ton of appropriations. Those dollars … that are available for senators and congresspeople to go to Washington, D.C., and request for any program across the university that’s doing research, the sciences area, even in the social sciences … We have to have a senator bringing those dollars home. When those dollars come home, all of a sudden there’s more money for professors, there’s more capital available to spread out for the fixed cost of the university, and so it’s going to keep tuition lower. Because we’re going to have more revenue coming in so it’s not just students paying in order to keep the doors open.

The other big thing is the state. We have to have a senator who is a champion for our universities, setting the tone for the state legislature. The state legislature has demonstrated a complete lack of commitment to our universities and to have a U.S. Senator who they respect, who they work with and who says this is an important priority to our state, because this is a direct tie between having strong universities and economic development. Businesses are excited to go to communities where they can have access to a strong work force, and we have a strong work force coming from our universities, but we don’t tie it enough in with our economic development, and I think that’s a really important component as well. I’ve been through five degrees, five sets of friends that majority of which leave Arizona because they have to go elsewhere, so I really see leveraging the university as an economic development tool and tying those two together as something that’s really important, and that’s something I would do as a member of the U.S. Senate.

(Do you support) an increase of junior colleges to prepare students for universities?

We need to have our university systems working with our community colleges to make sure that there’s more educational opportunities available but that people are able to eventually go in and get their terminal degree from one of our universities.

When the university system was set up it was designed to be stratified with NAU offering certain courses, with ASU having a much larger base of students and then the University of Arizona being the research campus, and somewhere along the way we lost that focus as a state, and now all three universities are working to be all things to all people as resources become scarcer. We really need to be focusing on different campuses offering different opportunities.

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