By Cyndy Cole
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Thursday April 24, 2003
If Legislature approves buildings, UA may have to give up more revenue
PHOENIX ÷ Funding for new UA research facilities cleared its first hurdle today with a new provision that 30 percent of the research dollars generated from UA stockholdings in start-up companies go to the state.
A proposal to allow UA to hold stock in companies has to go to the ballot this fall and be approved by voters before the deal would be solid.
The proposal passed over the objections of a few Phoenix-area lawmakers who wanted to cut university budgets to pay for the new facilities.
Reps. Andy Biggs (R-Gilbert) and Doug Quelland (R-Phoenix) voted against funding the research buildings, but the measure passed 10-2 yesterday in the House Committee on Commerce and Military Affairs.
"It just seems to me that something that should be characterized as a dynamic windfall to the universities could pay for itself," Biggs said.
Gov. Janet Napolitano and 75 of the 90 legislators support the proposal, which still must clear the full House and Senate.
The bill still includes a provision that would have UA pay for two years of the construction without state help.
Four of the new facilities would go to UA and would be used to construct a building for biomedical science and biotechnology, a southern expansion on the Chemistry building that will provide more lab and office space, a Phoenix health sciences center campus where students can take classes near the International Genomics Consortium in downtown Phoenix and a medical research building near University Medical Center.
Arizona State University President Michael Crow tried to counter some of the lawmakers' concerns that the universities couldn't bring in an 11-1 return on the state investments in the new buildings.
"If we don't win the grants with these facilities, you need to get rid of me and anyone else in charge of this place," Crow said.