Hull and Likins discuss education, AIC funding
Arizona Daily Wildcat
From left, UA President Peter Likins, Gov. Jane Hull and ASUA President Tara Taylor meet Friday in Likins office in the Administration building. Likins and Hull discussed higher education and building relationships between the UA, the state Legislature and the governor.
After an hour-long closed-door meeting with UA President Peter Likins Friday, Gov. Jane Hull emerged to say Arizona needs to do a better job of preparing students for higher education.
"My agenda has been directed at K through 12 education - that's one of the things Dr. Likins and I were talking about," said Hull, a Republican. "University learning, too, has to change and prepare students further."
The meeting came during a hectic day for Hull, who appointed two attorneys to Pima County Superior Court in the morning and spent the evening pushing for greater oversight of charter schools. But Hull and Likins said they steered their conversation away from the daily grind.
"Firstly, she didn't ask me for anything, and I didn't ask anything of her," Likins said.
Both said they put budget and political issues aside and focused on higher education and on building relationships between the UA, the state Legislature and the governor.
"Government is all about relationships," Likins said. "I'm trying very hard to put us (the UA and Legislature) on the same agenda to accomplish the objectives that we share."
After their meeting, the governor said it was too early to project next year's university budget. With Hull at the helm, the UA received $30 million in new money last year, but the Arizona International College faced a funding cut.
Hull said the decision not to request separate funds for AIC should not have been a surprise. AIC's funding request last year was lumped with the UA's, ultimately resulting in a funding decrease for the branch campus.
"The plan was always to fund them (AIC) by student growth," she said. UA officials and the Board of Regents moved AIC from the UA's Science and Technology Park near Interstate 10 and Santa Rita Road to the main campus this summer.
"The decision was made to bring them in from IBM, because it was so far out," she said, adding that it was a not a push to get rid of the campus.
Another topic that crops up with the Arizona Board of Regents and the Legislature falls under Hulls' jurisdiction - the oversight of community colleges. Board President Judy Gignac has pushed to allow community colleges to offer four-year degrees, but Hull was not amenable.
"I am not supportive of that," Hull said, adding that the current two-year program serves its own purpose for students.
But she was optimistic about the higher education system as it stands.
"I am as pleased as I've ever been with the work of the board of regents and the three (state) university presidents," she said.
Susan Carroll can be reached via e-mail at Susan.Carroll@wildcat.arizona.edu.