[ NEWS ]







By Tom Collins
Arizona Daily Wildcat
February 10, 1997

Budget footnote couldbuy some time for AIC

PHOENIX - The Arizona International Campus of the UA saw a reprieve Friday from the state capitol.

AIC was threatened by a footnote in the Joint Legislative Budget Committee's budget proposal that would have closed the campus in November 1997 if the enrollment at the campus did not reach the equivalent of 300 full-time students.

An amended footnote presented Friday would lower the enrollment quota to 250 students, allow the school to complete the fall 1997 semester and guarantee AIC students admittance to the main campus in the spring 1998 semester should the campus close.

The House side of the Joint Appropriations Subcommittee on Education and Natural Resources voted to adopt the JLBC budget proposal with the new footnote. The Senate side adopted that budget without the new footnote.

Subcommittee Chairman John Huppenthal, R- Chandler, said the Senate did not adopt the new footnote so it could continue to discuss the possible closure.

The differences between the House and Senate budgets must be worked out before a final budget is given to the governor.

"It's a little early to shut (AIC) down," Huppenthal said. He said his side of the subcommittee thought closing the campus after only a year was a "a little premature."

Both sides of the subcommittee adopted the JLBC budget instead of Gov. Fife Symington's proposal that would have added more money to the university budgets.

The Senate side of the subcommittee adopted a new footnote on law schools to raise tuition at the state's two law schools for the fall 1997 semester. The proposal would increase tuition $1,000 for in-state students and $2,000 for out-of-state students. The footnote does not mandate a tuition increase, but would revert $200,000 from each law school budget to the state's general fund and put the regents in a position that would probably force them to raise the tuition.

The rest of the money from the anticipated tuition increase would go toward a $165,000 scholarship program for each school, a $170,000 Arizona State University program enhancement in "legal writing, research and clinical training" and a $200,000 University of Arizona program enhancement for the same purpose.

The JLBC's proposed faculty salary incentive program was altered as well. The original proposal would have required professors at all universities to teach nine credit hours each semester to qualify for the bonus program. The new proposal, adopted Friday by both sides of the subcommittee, allows professors at UA and ASU to teach six credit hours to qualify while Northern Arizona University professors would have to meet the nine-hour standard.

"The idea was to have the bar be closer to where people are at the universities," Ted Ferrous, JLBC director, told the subcommittee.

(LAST_SECTION)  - (Wildcat Chat)  - (NEXT_STORY)