Arizona Daily Wildcat
Students generating 31 percent of UA finding, figure rising
Two members of the Arizona Board of Regents see an approved tuition increase falling somewhere between the recommendations made by UA President Peter Likins and the Arizona Students Association.
"They are both great recommendations," said Regent Kay McKay, referring to ASA's $141 and $483 recommended increase for in- and out-of-state students, respectively, and Likins' $200 and $500 increases, respectively, for next year.
"(ASA) has been so hard-working in trying to come to a reasonable recommendation," McKay said.
But she will have the inclination to go for a higher increase at today's meeting, where tuition rates for next year will most likely be decided, she added.
"(UA) is in a shortfall," she said, adding that the university does not have enough money to operate as effectively as it could.
Regent Jack Jewett agreed with McKay, but said the money needed to operate the university should not come from students but from the state Legislature.
Jewett said students generate 31 percent of university funding, a figure he believes is too high and will only continue to grow.
"That trend is the cause of major concern," he said. "These are public institutions. We need to work with the Legislature to get the support we need."
Jewett said the issue of a tuition increase boils down to accessibility and that regents should remember the spirit of the Arizona State Constitution, which states that tuition for Arizona's public institutions should remain as free as possible.
"My vote is based on a concern with access issues," he said, adding that he does not agree with recommendations made by either ASA or Likins because they are too high.
"The presidents and students have worked very hard," he said. "It will probably settle somewhere in between."
McKay and Jewett also said that they do not foresee a repeat of last year's meeting, which ASA members - who are allowed to participate in the discussion - saw as stressful.
"I don't think it will be chaotic," said McKay, but added that the Regents will have a variety of opinions about the increase.
The day-long meeting will be held at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff.