Gov. Jan Brewer nominated former House speaker Mark Killian to the Arizona Board of Regents.
Brewer announced her choice Thursday morning at an event in Mesa, the home of the Republican who served in the state House of Representatives for 14 years.
Killian served with Brewer in the Legislature during the turbulent 1980s, when the state struggled through battles to approve the Valley's freeway system, the impeachment of Gov. Evan Mecham and the AzScam bribery scandal. Killian's experience in those times triggered Brewer to tap Killian for the regents post, she said.
"It was Mark's name that immediately came to my mind," Brewer said.
Killian said the state's higher education system is critical to boosting the labor force and Arizona's economy. He said the state must consider additional schools in addition to the three universities governed by the regents, saying four-year colleges could be needed.
Arizona also needs to make education more affordable through cutting costs.
"That means everything needs to be on the table," Killian said.
Killian also was director of the Arizona Department of Revenue for six years and has served on numerous education associations. The Arizona State University graduate is a third-generation Arizonan. If confirmed, Killian would succeed Robert Bulla as a regent.