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Colleges can set own tuition rates

By Jeff Sklar & Keren G. Raz
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Monday January 27, 2003

Democratic Gov. Janet Napolitano attended the Arizona Board of Regents' meeting for about an hour Friday morning. Accompanied by three guards, Napolitano listened and asked questions as regents discussed a technology transfer initiative.

The governor also talked to regents about the upcoming debate over the state budget. She said her plan keeps universities safe from additional budget cuts, but she's concerned that the Republican plan to be released this week will ask the universities to return more money.

"We're in the thick of things and it's going to be a great debate," she said.

Arizona's governor has a seat on the board, but governors rarely attend meetings. Napolitano said Friday that she would go to as many as possible and stay for at least part of the time.

"We do understand you won't be able to spend the whole day with us," board President Jack Jewett told Napolitano when she arrived.

"No, but I'm working on your behalf," she said.

Also in the Friday meeting, the Regents approved three changes to board policy that will give the universities more authority over enrollment and tuition decisions.

Now ASU, NAU and UA can set different tuition rates for students. Colleges within each university can also differentiate their tuition.

All three university presidents agreed at a press conference with student journalists Thursday morning that ASU, NAU and UA would charge the same tuition rate for resident undergraduates.

However, President Pete Likins said that graduate students might have to pay higher tuition, depending on the cost of their program.

In addition to tuition, universities will have more flexibility when it comes to admitting out-of-state students. The regents approved the elimination of a 25 percent cap on out-of-state students. At the November meeting they referred to the cap as an arbitrary restriction.

Regents also lifted a geographical restraint that limited areas in which the universities can run distance-learning programs and extend their campuses. University presidents can offer upper division courses and graduate programs anywhere throughout the state.

Regents also discussed the cost of demolishing or remodeling buildings on all three campuses that have been deemed to be in unsatisfactory condition.

At the UA, 26 buildings are unsatisfactory, including the Franklin Building, which houses the journalism and near eastern studies departments. That building will be demolished and its tenants relocated to a building being constructed on Park Avenue, said David Duffy, director of campus and facilities planning.

Several buildings north of Speedway Boulevard that were once used for family housing will also be demolished, Duffy said. The total cost for razing the 26 buildings will be $2.7 million.

Regents complimented the UA for keeping the majority of its buildings in satisfactory


They also criticized NAU, where 43 buildings are unsatisfactory and it would cost $331 million to renovate many and raze others.

"It's mind-boggling as a business person to have built something and not maintained it," Regent Robert Bulla said.

When regents and audience members stood to say the Pledge of Allegiance Thursday afternoon, they realized no flag had been brought into the meeting room in the Student Union Memorial Center.

Student Regent Matthew Meaker then stepped up, took off the American flag pin that he was wearing on his lapel and held it in the air as approximately 100 people in the room turned toward the pin to say the pledge.

The next day, both an American flag and an Arizona flag had been placed at the front of the room.


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