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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Board of Regents set to talk financial aid, Rodriguez pay


The Arizona Board of Regents will weigh proposed financial aid policy and hear an update on the UA presidential search during its meeting today.

The board will meet today and Friday in the Student Union Memorial Center. Today’s session will run from 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Friday’s from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

The proposal for financial aid includes a $15.4 million increase in total system funding for fiscal year 2012, a 3.9 percent bump from last year. Under the proposal, there would also be an additional $15 million in funding for financial aid in fiscal year 2013, all told a 7.8 percent increase over current funding levels. According to the regents, the increases are due in part to the raising of the mandatory amount set aside for financial aid, which is based on total tuition and fee revenue from the universities, and growing aid commitments to combat rising tuition.

According to statistics from the regents, the average debt for an undergraduate student upon graduation has increased by 17.4 percent, to $21,158, over the last five years. During that same time graduate students have seen a steeper increase of 25.2 percent, to $44,918. Loans account for nearly half, 47.5 percent, of the $1.7 billion in financial aid in the Arizona university system.

The regents will also discuss Rich Rodriguez’s contract as the UA’s head football coach. As it currently stands, Rodriguez would receive an initial base salary of $1.45 million for the first year of his contract. This figure would rise each year, with a maximum base salary of $1.8 million by the final contract year in 2016. Men’s basketball head coach Sean Miller made a base salary of $1.6 million as of fall 2010, but no other UA employee received more than $650,000 a year, according to UA payroll data. Rodriguez would also receive additional compensation should the team reach a bowl game, end the season ranked or reach certain academic benchmarks.

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