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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


UA’s future goals on agenda at regents meeting

Elizabeth O’Connell

The Arizona Board of Regents meet on Feb. 2 in Phoenix. UA President Dr. Robert Robbins will speak to the board for the first time about his goals and vision for the university.

The Arizona Board of Regents will discuss academic programs and policies and hear about future plans from the University of Arizona president, during its on-campus meetings on Thursday, Nov. 16, and Friday, Nov. 17.

UA President Dr. Robert Robbins will speak to the board for the first time about his goals and vision for the university.

Students will also have a chance to share their concerns with the regents during a call to the audience at 2:20 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 16, in the North Ballroom of the Student Union Memorial Center. 

          Related: Students petition Arizona Board of Regents on matters of ‘fruition and bees’ and DACA students during public comment portion of board meeting

The regents are expected to approve two new academic programs for the UA: A Bachelor of Science in Personal and Family Financial Planning and a Master of Science in Econometrics and Quantitative Economics.

The board will also discuss the creation of new policies concerning off-campus real estate development and the setting of tuition and fees for the universities. They will be adding to recent reforms meant to increase transparency and simplicity in billing and limiting the presidents’ ability to unilaterally set tuition and fees. 

On Friday, the UA will undergo a financial review and ask the regents to approve a series of expenditures on campus. 

Among these, the UA will seek regents’ approval on financing plans for a series of construction projects to tackle UA’s deferred maintenance and shore up its infrastructure.

Already approved projects include a $25 million investment in Arizona Stadium improvements, $15 million for the Hillenbrand Aquatic Center, $8 million for the Hillenbrand Softball facility and an additional $18 million for the indoor sports center.

          Related: ABOR approves $66M renovation plan for several complexes

The UA will leverage the guarantee of student fees and state appropriations to borrow money in order to fund these projects, per regent approval.

The regents will hear about plans to finance renovations of the UA Health Sciences building 201 and the College of Pharmacy, which they approved previously, as well as the current on-hold but planned investments in North campus infrastructure and an Engineering Innovation building. 

The UA will also release its official Fall Enrollment Report. Last year, enrollment and retention was up for in-state students and minorities but slightly down for out-of-state students.

This year’s numbers will help the UA plan its expenditures and inform its marketing decisions. 

Robbins has said he wants to make the UA a more challenging university to gain acceptance to in order to elevate its status and quality of education.

“The thing that really hurts us is six-year graduation and retention,” he said during a recent meeting with student leaders. “For reputation and for the things that matter around the research area, we’re at [much better].”

The regents will return to the UA next semester to approve suggested increases in tuition and fees, as well as voice their position on issues affecting Arizona’s universities, as they did last year supporting Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals student

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