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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    President opposes state cuts

    PHOENIX – Proposed budget cuts to state university funding would devastate not only the respective institutions but also the state’s economy, top university officials said yesterday in a presentation to the state Senate’s Higher Education Committee.

    Potential cuts to the UA fall could have serious effects on the school’s future, as contracts have already been signed and personnel hired, said UA President Robert Shelton.

    Eighty-four percent of the UA’s state funding goes toward faculty salaries and contracts, he said.

    If cuts are made, it could affect the 2009 fiscal year, he said. Student services such as advising and counseling could be affected, as well as course availability.

    To bring in more money, the UA might also have to change the balance between in-state and out-of-state students and may even have to raise tuition and lower the amount of institutional aid available to students.

    “”It’s not the direction we want to go, but we have to consider all these things,”” Shelton said.

    Last year, the state Legislature gave the university $10 million to improve student success. The money has been used for extra classes, faculty and advisors, and counselors.

    Shelton also mentioned the large impact university research, including that from the UA’s medical school in Phoenix and the BIO5 Institute, has on the state.

    “”The kind of research that is going on is by and large the kind of research that will improve the condition of Arizona,”” Shelton said.

    State universities are critical to the growth of Arizona’s economy, said ASU President Michael Crow.

    “”It is my view … that the importance of the universities for the long-term economic effectiveness and success of the state of Arizona have never been at a higher level,”” he said. “”Right now, we do not even produce the average number of college graduates for the United States.””

    John Haeger, president of Northern Arizona University, likened proposed university cuts to shutting down an interstate – simply, that it cannot be done.

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