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Regents approve capital development plan, discuss tuition policies

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Carmen Valencia | The Daily Wildcat The Arizona Board of Regents meets in the student union on Nov. 16 about degree programs, the capital development plan, tuition, and other things.

The Arizona Board of Regents, the governing body for the three Arizona public universities appointed by the governor, met Nov. 16 at the UA to discuss changing its policy on tuition and fee development and to approve a number of new UA academic and development projects. 

UA to offer two new degree programs 

The regents approved two new academic programs for implementation in the 2018-2019 academic year. 

The new Bachelor of Science in Personal and Financial Planning will prepare students to become financial planners. Graduates will have the skills to help the community at large.

The new Master of Science in Economics and Quantitative Economics will target students who want a stronger analytical focus as opposed to a professional career. This degree will be geared toward increasing research activity at UA. 

UA’s new capital development plan approved 

The regents approved the UA to spend $255.5 million on a series of six major development projects using a combination of student fees, state appropriations, and selling bonds. 

The projects include a series of infrastructure improvements to athletic facilities, the construction of a Student Success District and renovations and additions to the Skaggs College of Pharmacy. 

Read more about UA's approved capital development plans and funding sources here

The UA is also moving ahead with plans to spend $400 million from bonds secured with state legislative funding to construct two research facilities and address deferred maintenance in 8 others.   

Tuition and fee policies up for debate

The regents approved a new subcommittee to examine potential reforms to the tuition and fee setting policy. 

"The main core of what we're hoping to accomplish with this reform is to create transparency on the university fee development process," said Lorenzo Martinez, Associate Vice President for Finance and Administration.

The committee will make a recommendation to the board on ways to inform students of opportunities to have their voice heard in the process.

A sunset review policy was discussed to examine the effectiveness and appropriate number of fees at the university level as well as examine the decision process for creating fees. 

As per the Arizona constitution, many of the regents expressed a desire to lower in-state tuition. Regent Rick Myers, who will retire after eight years of service, concurred but added: 

"It's not just how much we charge, it's what we do with that money and if we're doing the right things...that's got to be factored in too."   

Read more about the regents desired policies changes on tuition and fee development as well as real estate development here

Arizona State Museum to increase its fees 

After meeting with tribal communities and others, the ASM proposed to increase its curation fees in order to more sustainability accomplish its mandate to preserve artifacts and serve the community. 

Read more about the approved increases here

Students, faculty share concerns about sexual assault, DACA and more 

"Faculty at all three universities are concerned about the recent announced rollbacks on campus sexual assault procedure issued by Education Secretary Betsy DeVos" said Lynn Nadel, Chair of the Faculty at UA and Regents Professor Emeritus, in his report to the regents.  

Gioia Woods, President of Northern Arizona University's Faculty Senate, told the regents the policy will result in a reluctance of reporting due to fears of reprisal and sends the tacit signal it is okay to engage in this violent behavior. 

Nadel also asked the regents to consider allowing the universities to set their own policy for multi-year faculty contracts, incorporate civil discourse into general education and clarify its policy on freedom from academic censorship. 

During the call to audience, Mira Patel, a Deferred Action for Late Arrivals recipient, called on the regents to provide DACA students, who may soon fall out of status, access to higher education and in-state tuition and a chance to contribute. 

"DACA students are looking to you for support no matter what," Patel said.

Associated Students of the University of Arizona President Matt Lubisich and UA student regent Vianney Careaga agreed. 

In his report to the regents Careaga highlighted food insecurity and tuition transparency. 

"Food insecurity is one of the big issues that was brought up during our student leadership dinner," Careaga said. 

Lubisich and Nadel reflected those concerns, calling for something to be done. 

Food insecurity is closely tied with discussions about tuition and fees, which was also a topic of concern for students and regents at the meeting. 

Careaga called for the regents to further increase student engagement, involvement in and knowledge of the process of tuition and fee setting. 

Robbins to oversee UA financial review Nov. 17

UA President Robert Robbins will present UA's operational and financial review report to the regents in meetings scheduled for tomorrow.  

Check back for the Daily Wildcat's full coverage of the regents final day on campus. 



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