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Gov. Ducey visits UA to talk new plans, experience to Eller class

Arizona Governor Doug Ducey visits the UA campus to speak and answer questions in Dr. Paul Melendez's business ethics class at the Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering building on April 27.

Gov. Doug Ducey visited campus Thursday to meet with deans of different colleges and to share his business background and knowledge with students in MGMT 202, Ethical Issues in Business.

During the meeting, Ducey wanted to learn what support the colleges needed from the Governor’s Office. 

As an Entrepreneurial Fellow for the Eller College of Management, Ducey also discussed his hope for expansion of opportunities for business students to not only touch the Tucson market, but the Phoenix market as well. 

In the works for all in-state universities is Ducey’s $1 billion funding plan, where universities will be able to keep their sales tax in order to fund critical maintenance needs and new capital or research infrastructure.

This new plan would still have universities paying the sales tax, but it would allow them to “recapture” the funds and build on it. 

RELATED: Cities and universities disagree over tax exemption in Ducey budget proposal

Because the $1 billion would be split between all of the in-state universities, the amount of sales tax each university pays determines how much they receive. Arizona State University would receive roughly $450 million, the UA would receive about $400 million and Northern Arizona University would receive about $150 million. 

The UA needs $200 million for deferred maintenance for buildings in the College of Medicine, the BioSciences West building and the Microbiology building, among others. These delayed repairs mean that these buildings could pose a risk to public health and safety. 

The opposition says the sales tax paid by the universities goes to the cities and counties around the state and that funding would be lost. 

“There’s always going to be pushback on any new idea, anything that’s innovative,” Ducey said. “We have a state that’s growing again; it’s among the fastest growing states in the nation. We have excellent universities who need to be prepared for that growth.”

During the class, he spoke about his background as a finance student from ASU and as CEO of Cold Stone Creamery. He also spoke about becoming governor and what he’s learned from the experience.

“I am someone, and it might just be my entrepreneurial background, [who wants] to lead with the things that we’re doing right in the state of Arizona,” Ducey said to the class. “But at the same time, we do need more resources for education, and health care, but there’s really no way to get those without rough.”


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