They don’t want to change their ways, but on Thursday, Arizona’s universities were told by Governor Doug Ducey to do just that. On Thursday, Ducey told the Arizona Board of Regents to work with him to create a “long-term business plan” for higher education.
Ducey said the Regents should “direct President Klein and our university presidents to work with my administration to refashion the strategic plan you already have into a sustainable, long-term business plan that addresses the needs of students and the business community that depends on their success.”
Ducey said the plan should be one “that policymakers and elected leaders, starting with myself, can support, take to the public, advocate for and implement.”
He told the Regents that the universities must regard the state as only one of “many investors.” Ducey added, “While universities provide an important public service, state support is not and cannot be the only financial driver for the future growth of our university system.”
Ducey warned the universities against raising tuition instead of cutting programs that do not have adequate value. Ducey urged the regents to approach the issue in a businesslike manner. “I urge you to leverage every entrepreneurial opportunity, maximize operational efficiency, eliminate programs that do not work, streamline administrative processes where you can, and ask your team to do more.”
“When you have exhausted every other pathway, I urge you to use restraint because price and value matter – and in business, making a quality product that fewer can afford does not often make sense,” stated Ducey.
Arizona’s universities’ revenues come from four major sources: gifts, grants and federal aid (32 percent); investment incomes and similar sources (14 percent); tuition and fees (36 percent); and finally, state funds (18 percent), according to the Yellow Sheet.
German Cadenas, president of ASU’s Graduate and Professional Student Association, asked Ducey about in-state tuition for students living in the country illegally, otherwise known as Dreamers. “There is a group of students in Arizona who don’t have equal access and don’t have the same amount of opportunity as everybody else,” said Cadenas, according to the Yellow Sheet. “Ducey gave a predictable answer,” the Yellow Sheet reports, “he’ll wait for Congress to resolve illegal immigration and for the courts to sort out specific questions surrounding this complex subject, including the plight of Dreamers.”
Ducey said he was opposed to President Obama’s executive orders. “This is something I would like to see resolve at the congressional level. I realize that our president put forward an executive order, which is being stayed in the courts right now. We will wait for the courts to make their decision both at the federal level and at the state level.” Ducey dodged the question in-state university tuition for Dreamers. The Yellow Sheet reports: “Their tuition rate is something ABOR could set and it is a policy the governor could pursue, the student said. Again, Ducey gave a safe answer, saying that the issue of in-state tuition for Dreamers partly hinges on the court’s decision on Obama’s executive orders. However, he did not immediately shut down the idea. He said ABOR sets tuition policies: “I’ll leave them to the Board of Regents, with my input as governor.”