Lawmaker Wants To Reign In Arizona Board Of Regents

By  Holliday Moore, Howard Fischer
Published: Tuesday, November 28, 2017 - 9:27am
Updated: Tuesday, November 28, 2017 - 9:42am

An Arizona lawmaker has asked State Attorney General Mark Brnovich for permission to reign in the State Board of Regents.

Oro Valley Republican Representative Mark Finchem claims the board was established by the Arizona Constitution, so therefore should be under the lawmakers' purview.

He's asked the A.G. for an informal legal opinion following a series of disputes between lawmakers and board members, including the level of state funding.

The request comes as Brnovich is pursuing his own lawsuit with the regents over tuition and its alleged mismanagement of funds. The lawsuit stems from ABOR's decision to allow those in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program to attend college while paying in-state tuition if they meet other residency requirements.

The A.G. said this week's firing of Arizona State University football coach Todd Graham with a $12 million buyout agreement underscores his point.

"You're telling me they can afford to make the football coach the highest paid employee, but they can't reduce or eliminate the athletic fee for students? Think about that: That $12 million payment is more than the combined $75 athletic fee that all the students are paying," Brnovich said.

Brnovich is in the process of arguing the regents are violating Arizona's constitutional provision requiring state instruction be "as nearly free as possible."

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