May 26, 2004
Higher education in Arizona scored a victory earlier this week when the state Senate voted to increase the university and community co llege budgets by $24 million and $15.3 million respectively.
"We’re pleased with the outcome when you consider the current situation," said Steve Miller, deputy vice president for public affairs at Arizona State University. "The governor’s recommendation was what we were hoping for, and what we ended up with was very close to the governor’s position."
ASU’s share of the increase, $13.5 million, will cover enrollment growth for fiscal year 2004, Miller said. Northern Arizona University at Flagstaff and the University of Arizona at Tucson will split the rest of the increase and will use it to retain faculty.
In addition, the Senate approved a $16.1 million pay package for university employees. The exact amount of each individual’s salary increase will be determined by the university president.
The Maricopa Community College District, which serves almost 277,000 students, will receive $6.6 million of the approved increase.
"We’re extremely pleased the Legislature saw fit to fully fund student growth," MCCD spokesman Rick DeGraw said. "Student growth is what drives the entire system, and we have to be able to meet their demands."