Faculty Senate members unanimously voted to support offering in-state tuition for undocumented students at their monthly meeting Monday.
The senate voted in favor of offering in-state tuition for undocumented students and will forward materials related to its decision to the Arizona Board of Regents.
If the proposal is approved by the Board of Regents, tuition will be more affordable for students approved through President Barack Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which shields certain individuals brought to the U.S. as children from deportation for two years.
The DACA program went into effect in August under an executive order by Obama, a temporary solution to debate over the DREAM Act, which would provide public benefits and deferred action to undocumented youths. Many of DACA’s provisions are similar to the DREAM Act.
Maricopa Community Colleges and Pima Community College have already approved offering in-state tuition to undocumented immigrants.
The senate also discussed House Bill 2169 with Katy Murray, president of the Associated Students of the University of Arizona.
The bill, proposed by Rep. John Kavanagh, would prohibit Arizona universities from collecting and distributing student fees to an organization not recognized by the university.
Murray told the senate the bill would “be harmful” to certain unrecognized organizations on campus that currently receive student funding. As of now, the bill has passed through the Appropriations Committee and will go on for debate in the House of Representatives. Murray said she plans on speaking on the bill at the floor level.
“We [ASUA] are going to try and stop the bill at the house floor,” Murray said. “This has been a big piece of legislation that we are trying to look out for.”
As part of the meeting’s informational items, David Allen, Tech Launch Arizona’s executive director, described efforts being made to expand the program’s reach. Some of that progress has already been under way, through the revitalization of the Office of Technology Transfer, which included appointing Doug Hockstad as director of the office in February.
Some of the goals Allen presented are to have Tech Parks hold a greater interaction with the university and to update the current intellectual property policy. Allen said his previous experience with similar programs at Penn State and Ohio State serves as a guide for his plans at the UA.
“This is something I feel very comfortable with and really look forward to doing,” Allen said. “We have to bring it [policy] up to a contemporary standard.”
Following Allen’s presentation, Sen. George Gehrels, a geosciences professor, brought up the NCAA’s recent move on a “massive deregulation” in its involvement in athletics.
Last fall, the NCAA approached the Coalition on Intercollegiate
Athletics to compose recommendations regarding the organization’s regulations on academic integrity. COIA consists of some members of faculty senates from a range of universities with larger football programs.
Gehrels discussed the possibility of trying to broaden the faculty senate’s role on these issues and said many of these regulations will dive into university athletic budgets.
“The level playing field is very problematic for many schools,” Gehrels said. “There’s 25 schools that have positive budget athletic departments where they bring in more than they take from academics. Those schools want to spend a lot more on their athletic programs. The other 120-some schools are negative budget. The academic money flows into athletics and they don’t want to be required to spend up to meet the NCAA requirements.”