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Wednesday, April 16, 2014 | Last updated: 8:59am

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Q&A: UA President Hart talks tuition, UA programs



UA President Ann Weaver Hart traveled to the East Coast last week to meet with public officials and corporate executives to discuss the national Lincoln Project, which aims to understand and resolve the issues public universities may face in the future. Hart talked to the Daily Wildcat about the Lincoln Project and others that the UA is involved with.

DW: Can you tell me about the Lincoln Project and your role in it?

Hart: The Lincoln Project is a three-year endeavor getting sponsored by the American Academy of Arts and Sciences to dig into the features and characteristics that we believe will help our premier public research universities be successful and make the kind of contribution to society at large, every individual student and to our economies in general.

The notion would be that with a partnership with public officials, corporate leaders and university people that we will be able to develop strong recommendations for the future of our sector and marshal public support for the ongoing health and success of our premier public research universities.

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By Kyle Mittan / Arizona Daily Wildcat
Kyle Mittan/The Daily Wildcat

Why is being a part of this project important for the university?

It puts the University of Arizona up there with the top private universities in the country, at the table while the agenda is being developed. It gives me a chance to present our perspective on many of the key issues like tuition, like the proportion of the operating budgets of the great universities that comes from state support versus tuition and the implications of that proportionality going more and more toward tuition, less and less toward state support. … It’s a great way for the University of Arizona and our special challenges and our unique qualities to be represented as the agenda is formed and the three-year studies and activities take place.

Arizona State University President Michael Crow recently announced there would be no tuition increase for ASU, and we were wondering, what your stance is on the UA’s tuition?

As the [Arizona] Board of Regents said in the statement for all of us, we have not even had that discussion and it is way too premature to even be talking [about] when we don’t have any sense of what the governor’s budget will recommend to the Legislature, nor any discussion taking place. It’s premature to make a statement one way or the other.

Where are you all in the process of figuring out whether tuition can be decreased for those who qualify for deferred action?

The board of regents are actively considering, with the support of legal council, alternatives that they can take that will support young people from Arizona who are prepared to succeed as students in our universities. … They don’t have a solution yet, but as I said in my statement last year, I think we would all benefit from having well-prepared, intelligent young people attend and graduate … and have successful lives.

How are universities working with K-12 schools to better prepare students for the universities?

We have so many great summer programs and other mentoring programs designed to help young people not just prepare for an undergraduate successful career here, but also in some very specific and targeted areas including medicine, and the university is committed to continuing those many programs.

- Follow Stephanie Casanova @_scasanova_


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