The head of a state university and two city council members want Arizona to extend its benefits to the domestic partners of state and university employees, at least in part to help recruit and retain workers.
In a letter to the state Department of Administration, University of Arizona President Robert Shelton said most Fortune 500 companies offer such benefits.
The same is true of all eight Pac-10 universities outside Arizona, along with all Ivy League schools and all Big Ten schools except one.
“These are our prime competitors for faculty,” Shelton wrote.
More than 1,000 Arizonans filed comments about the proposal from Gov. Janet Napolitano’s administration prior to the deadline earlier this week, according to Alan Ecker, spokesman for the Department of Administration.
One of those came from Scottsdale City Councilman Wayne Ecton. Scottsdale is one of four Arizona cities — along with Tempe, Tucson and Phoenix — that already offers domestic partner benefits. Pima County also offers domestic partner benefits.
“Offering domestic partner benefits to eligible state employees goes beyond ‘the right thing to do’ and can be measured in terms of cost savings, employee productivity and loyalty, and employee recruitment and retention,” Ecton wrote.