New Student Regent Not A Current Student
One of the student positions for the Arizona Board of Regents will become vacant later this year. But the governor’s nominee replacement to the position is not a current student himself.
Gov. Jan Brewer named Mark Naufel on Monday as the next student member of the Arizona Board of Regents.
The board is responsible for governing Arizona’s three public universities. It has two student regents who are required to be enrolled at one of those universities during their two-year terms.
Naufel graduated in December with his bachelor’s degree in finance, but said he is applying to several graduate programs. Naufel said that even if he does not enroll in classes until the fall, he will still be able to serve as regent.
“Before I even entered the process, we had these discussions and everyone said it would be all right,” said Naufel. “From my discussions with ABOR earlier, they said as long as I’m going to be a student in the fall, I should be fine, even with the July deadline.”
Naufel’s term would begin on July 1 to replace outgoing Student Regent Kaitlin Thompson, but the Arizona State Senate still needs to confirm him before that date. Naufel said the governor was aware that he is not a current student but was applying to graduate school.
Naufel is a former Student Body President at Arizona State University. He said that his experience working with the Board of Regents there will help him be a better member.
“I think if I’m confirmed by the Senate, sitting on the Board of Regents I’ll be an even stronger voice for the students,” said Naufel.
Naufel now serves as new media director for the Arizona Republican Party. Despite his affiliation with the GOP, Naufel said that did not play a part in his selection for the position.
“I don’t really connect the two. I don’t think that’s the reason the governor picked me either,” said Naufel. “I think that I was chosen based on my student leadership experience in the past and my work at ASU. And as a regent, those two won’t overlap.”
Brewer was criticized in 2012 for appointing former Republican legislator Greg Patterson to the Board of Regents. Some lawmakers considered him too partisan. Patterson runs the conservative blog Espresso Pundit.
The Arizona Board of Regents is composed of 12 members, including the two student regents. The more senior student regent is the only one with voting rights.