Update: Governor Brewer Scolds Board of Regents

An update on an earlier post…

Governor Brewer attended this morning’s meeting of the Arizona Board of Regents in Tucson. According to the Tucson Citizen,

Brewer, who attended the regents meeting at UA Thursday morning, committed to letting the Arizona Board of Regents decide how to spend its potion of the federal stimulus package when it arrives. But she scolded and challenged the board and the university presidents about the cost of higher education.

“My personal commitment to you as your governor is for you to use the federal stimulus to best mitigate today’s proposal to dramatically increase tuition, but I require a commitment from you to reform your business model,” Brewer said.

The governor said she expects plans in her office by the fall of a new model of “accountability, predictability and affordability to taxpayers, parents and students.”

“Your budget plans must consider tomorrow,” Brewer said, emphasizing that the stimulus dollars are only available for two years. “You cannot crush or defeat the aspirations of students.”

 Here are two press releases issued by the Governor following the meeting. Her remarks demonstrate a commitment to not raising tuition, higher education reform and an overhaul of the university business model:

Press Release – Board of Regents Meeting – April 30, 2009 
Press Release – Remarks, Board of Regents – April 30, 2009




  1. kralmajales says

    Reform the business model? I will be the first to say that universities can make improvements and can always do a better job, but we have 3 great universities that have been gutted by this state…in complete violation of the State constitution.

    Reform governor? Might it instead be that the University of Arizona got a $20 million cut at the beginning of the fiscal year, then a $57 million cut of the same budget in the same year? The overall percentage of state funds directed to universities has been cut and cut dramatically….and there is more coming.

    So we need to reform OUR operations????

    The state constitution mandates not only that it be as free as possible but there is another portion this state and some republicans hide from. That is this, and it refers to all state educationsal institutions:

    “In addition to such income the legislature shall make such appropriations, to be met by taxation, as shall insure the proper maintenance of all state educational institutions, and shall make such special appropriations as shall provide for their development and improvement.”

    Whatever the governor thinks of what she said today, there is not a person with any smarts at all that can say with a straight face that vastly cutting the state support to the institutions are anything less that a constitutional abdication of responsibility.

  2. kralmajales says

    In other words, the constitution really states that universities be state provided so that they they can be as free as possible. Not cut and cut with tuition raises instead.

  3. Making the Regents or the universities the bad guys is really ridiculous. The universities are makng cuts left and right, as pointed out above. They are mandated to take in anyone who qualifies, i.e., maintains a B average in high school. Our growing population means enrollment continues to grow, necesitating hiring more faculty. Every politician wants university facilities in their area (i.e. NAU in Yuma, UA in Douglas, and west valley ASU) and screams if cuts are made at those facilities. If they try to raise tuition they are pounced upon by the politicians and the students.

    If you don’t want taxpayers to pay for the service, somebody else needs to. It’s funny that it’s now conservatives that believe in the free lunch, that we can eliminate funding for programs and yet those programs can magically continue uninterupted. Real life doesn’t work that way. If you cut funding for higher ed, you have to raise tuition or keep some kids out of college. If you cut DES, there will be fewer services for foster children and the disabled. Why are we surprised when it happens?

  4. Too bad Governor Brewer didn’t stay for the vote.

  5. The only way to change their “business model” in the future is to simply avoid relying on any state revenue since the legislature seems perfectly fine pulling money out mid-year and sending per student revenue back 20 years. This of course would run afoul of the state constitution which requires the legislature to fund higher education and to have the cost of instructional be as close to free as possible. However, I don’t know what can be done if we have people in control of the public spending who clearly have no concern for little issues like that.

  6. kralmajales says

    Well said Todd, Vwgal, and Bill. What is happening in this state is a not just as shame but is critical. Some of our business leaders know very well that they chance of real economic development and the growth everyone who reads this blog hopes for is that we have the better trained workforce than Texas and California. It IS that simple. Attracting retirees is nice, but they dont come here to work and build a family, they come to buy houses and enjoy (and I applaued that) their golden years after working for years and years.

    Remember. Southern Arizona’s largest employers are government employers. Check the facts. Folks like the President of Raytheon and other corporate leaders that are here are very concerned about what they are seeing the state do to the U. of A., ASU, and NAU.

  7. Conservative does not mean Republican says

    Don’t lay all the blame at the feet of the legislature. Irresponsible spending and expansion, combined with an economic recession was the recipe for disaster in this case. Michael Crow wanted too much, too fast. They made so many capital expenditures in the boom time that have to be funded now in the down time. A lack of fiscal restraint is what put us in this mess.

    And Todd, to say that we are sending student revenue back 20 years is disingenuous. The University has told such myths to try and scare legislators and citizens alike. Try looking at some of the research published by the Goldwater Institute instead of what biased University officials publish.

  8. Conservative does not mean Republican,
    I have looked and I stand by the statement. If you look at enrollment growth, inflation and the state funding I believe this is correct.

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