New regent aims to resolve student problems
Gary Stuart, one of the two recent appointees to the Arizona Board of Regents, will not hesitate in admitting he has a lot to learn about the politics of higher education.
"This is going to be a wonderful challenge," said Stuart, a University of Arizona graduate.
Republican Gov. Jane Hull named Stuart to serve an eight-year term on the board on Sept. 29. Stuart earned both his bachelor's and law degrees from the UA.
"I come from the world of public education," Stuart said. "I received a wonderful education at the UA and I have taught at ASU."
Stuart taught professional ethics and trial advocacy to law students at Arizona State University and has worked at the Phoenix-based firm Jennings, Strouss & Salmon for the past 33 years.
Stuart is no longer a member of the firm, but still holds the position "of counsel," in which he retains a close and continuing relationship with the firm.
Stuart said that he is going to scale back his professional activities by limiting his role with the firm - a move that will give him the time to adequately commit to the board.
"The main reason that many people decline to take on the position is because they don't have the time. I'm working on getting my life organized so that I can be an effective regent," Stuart said.
"I don't know what the larger problems are, I don't have an agenda yet."
One of Stuart's objectives with his new position is to "learn about problems students are facing and to try to resolve them," he said.
Hull met Stuart during his work with the independent counsel to the State House of Representatives during the AzScam investigation. During that time, Stuart proved he had a "knowledge of the way the real world works," said Francie Noyes, Hull's press secretary.
Gary Lasner, an attorney at Stuart's firm, said Stuart is well-respected for being "loyal, highly intelligent and open-minded."
"As his partners, we are very proud of him. He'll be good for the state of Arizona," said Lasner, also a UA graduate.
Stuart has ties to all three state universities, as his son recently graduated from Northern Arizona University. This will allow him to "look toward all views and... be committed to all the universities," he said.