State Capitol News
3:25 pm
Wed February 23, 2011

Some State Lawmakers Want Universities to be Under Separate Governing Boards

Phoenix, AZ – Right now all three schools are under the control of a single
state Board of Regents. The proposal by Sen. Andy Biggs would
give each school its own governing board. In fact, there would be
four, with ASU East spun off as its own school. Biggs said that
change, in combination with a new plan to fund school based on
the number of students they enroll, would create an incentive for
true diversity and competition, incentives he said have been
lacking. Regents President Tom Anderes said that already is
occurring.

(The plan recognizes the differences in university missions. And
that's particularly important to the history you are speaking to,
that we are looking at things very differently. But we're also
looking at the strength of being able to work together. There is
value in being able to do things cooperatively.)

Biggs was not impressed.

(I appreciate that you're trying to move in exactly the direction
that I'm moving, which is new matrices, new benchmarks, new
directions for these universities, less stumbling block and more
facilitation. I think that's what necessary.)

But Biggs said what's needed is a structural change to the
system, including its funding, to truly make the schools more
responsive. His measure, which was approved by the Senate
Appropriations Committee, now goes to the full Senate. For
Arizona Public Radio this is Howard Fischer.