Arizona Board of Regents approves salary increases, asks for more funding

All three university presidents from Arizona State University, University of Arizona and Northern Arizona were granted performance-based raises by the Board of Regents on Friday. This comes only seven months after Governor Doug Ducey approved cutting $100 million from state university funding.

ASU President Michael Crow will receive a $150,000 raise for the 2015 fiscal year. This will bring his salary and benefits to about $1 million.

U of A President Ann Weaver Hart will get an increase of $115,000 and Rita Cheng's salary from NAU will increase by $40,000.

ASU students we spoke with say they wish the approved raises could be used elsewhere.

"Funding towards more for curriculum type things, like more attention on what we're learning and how we're learning and maybe put it towards more ways for us to learn more efficiently," said Rachel Cord.

They're also hoping with recent cuts and salary increases that tuition won't go up.

"We're both on VA benefits right now, but I do wonder then if they're going to raise that because you only get a cap for your benefits, so you know will I have to pay out of pocket then?" asked Michelle Ocariza.

The regents also requested increased funding. They say the state should provide appropriations for half of the cost of educating Arizona residents. They also want $24 million in the funding boost in the current fiscal year, citing the $400 million bump in state revenues above budget assumptions.

The regents say changes could be made over time and would help honor the constitutional requirement for tuition to be as nearly free as possible.

The U of A is reported to be cutting 230 jobs to make up for the $28.4 million less in state funding. The cuts include 44 employees who were laid off, along with retirements, resignations and leaving unfilled positions empty.