Arizona Regents Develop a Plan

With the future of higher education in jeopardy, the Arizona Regents are taking charge. Well, in a way. According to a piece in the Arizona Republic:

Revenue options are drying up. Incoming freshmen at Arizona State University and the University of Arizona are paying 40 to 50 percent more in tuition than freshmen in 2008. General-tuition hikes as a bulwark against sagging support from the Legislature are all but finished.

In short, the moment of reckoning is at hand for the state’s directors of higher education, the Board of Regents.And, befitting the extreme circumstances, it has put together an extremely bold plan it calls the Arizona Higher Education Enterprise.

The trouble is that the components of their plant aren’t actually very good. They don’t seem to involve improving outcomes or refining state funding. There’s the plan to privatize the law school at Arizona State University. Well according to the article there’s another component to the regents plan too, more online courses.

What’s actually the benefit of attending an Arizona state school if it’s both getting more expensive and students are getting less personal interaction with each other and with professors? The article refers to this online option as “designed with an eye for efficiencies necessary to handle a burgeoning student population.” It may be efficient but it’s hardly a positive development.

Read the “Arizona Higher Education Enterprise” here.

Daniel Luzer

Daniel Luzer is the news editor at Governing Magazine and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. Find him on Twitter: @Daniel_Luzer