Ulrich, Davis one step away from regent posts

By Ann McBride
Arizona Daily Wildcat
January 23, 1996

PHOENIX - The Senate Committee on Education recommended the confirmation of Donald J. Ulrich and Kurt R. Davis to the Arizona Board of Regents Monday. The recommendations must now be approved by the full Senate.

Ulrich, 55, and Davis, 33, both of Scottsdale, were questioned about their feelings regarding the role of affirmative action in the university system.

Ulrich said that if anything, affirmative action programs should be strengthened, not weakened, while Davis said the regents need to stick to their Common Commitment report on diversity. He said the universities are beginning to see the fruits of that effort.

Following the confirmation, he said people now realize Arizona is not like California, which recently abolished its affirmative action programs. Arizona's issues are more confined, Davis said, and the number of minority scholarships awarded in the state is much less than California's.

Ulrich, a self-employed businessman, said Arizona has the possibility of having three great universities if the regents and the state do things right. He said the two most crucial problems facing universities are finding ways to maintain quality educational institutions while working within a limited budget, and learning to deal with projected growth in enrollment.

Davis, who currently serves as the national director of public affairs for Rural/Metro Corp., also said budget and growth issues will be crucial and he also hopes to build more of a collaborative effort between universities and community colleges during his tenure on the board.

Paul Allvin of the Arizona Students' Association told the committee he was "unusually enthusiastic" about the two appointees. Following the hearing, Allvin said that Davis, in particular, has shown to be a strong advocate for students. He said Davis has listened to and offered advice to the Arizona Students Association regarding its legislative efforts, including setting up a meeting with Gov. Fife Symington earlier this month. Allvin said this was "unprecedented, " as the governor does not usually meet with the association.

Ulrich and Davis have close ties to Gov. Symington.

Ulrich was appointed by the governor in 1992 to serve as managing director of Project SLIM and the Governor's Office of Excellence in Government.

Davis took a leave of absence from his job in 1993 to serve as executive assistant to Gov. Symington. After being nominated by the governor for the regent post last year, Davis resigned as one of Gov. Symington's three appointees to the Constitutional Defense Council, a controversial group formed to challenge the federal government's power in court.

Davis will replace Douglas Wall of Flagstaff and Ulrich will replace Andrew D. Hurwitz of Phoenix.

Both Ulrich and Davis have attended regents meetings since August. Members of the Board of Regents receive $30 per meeting, in addition to travel expenses.

The board's next meeting is scheduled for Feb. 15 and 16 at the Arizona State University West Campus.