Regents discuss ABOR's annual report and state budget request

Regents discuss ABOR's annual report and state budget request

By Nick PrevenasUniversity Communications
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ABOR's annual report was among the items reviewed by regents during their meeting this month.
ABOR's annual report was among the items reviewed by regents during their meeting this month.

The Arizona Board of Regents reviewed its annual report for fiscal year 2021 during today's meeting in Tempe.

This meeting was the first chaired by Lyndel Manson. She succeeds Larry E. Penley, who concluded two consecutive terms as board chair in June. Manson, who was appointed in 2016 to an eight-year term, received her master's degree from the Harvard Graduate School of Business Administration and is a longtime education advocate.

ABOR's annual report shares progress on the goals contained within the board's promise to the state of Arizona: to increase postsecondary access and attainment for Arizona students; to seek solutions to societal challenges; and to do both while increasing quality, affordability and efficiency.

The annual report also highlights the economic impact of Arizona's state universities, including:

  • 84,355 total jobs (67,803 direct 16,552 indirect/induced)
  • $11.1 billion in economic output for Arizona's economy ($8.5 billion direct, $2.6 billion indirect/induced)
  • $4.6 billion in total wages ($3.8 billion direct, $800 million indirect/induced)
  • $451.7 million in total taxes ($180.8 million direct, $270.8 million indirect/induced)

Data includes in the report covers the total enrollment at Arizona's public universities (204,460), the number of bachelor’s degrees earned (13,558) and the number of graduate degrees conferred (33,973).

The regents also were slated to discuss the FY 2023 state budget request of the universities and board office. The FY 2022 state budget provided funding to the universities to implement programs aligned with the board's New Economy Initiative. The initiative is a targeted approach to economic development and to creating and retaining the skilled labor force needed for the New Economy, which places a premium on innovation, adaptability and technology. The FY 2023 request includes $75 million to retain $46 million of one-time funding and add $29 million to expand and create additional NEI programs at the universities.

In addition, the FY 2021 Technology and Research Initiative Fund annual report was scheduled to be presented for board approval. It is a summary of TRIF activity and actual expenditures that also highlights the performance measures for each TRIF-funded research area.

The majority of TRIF funds have been allocated to the universities for specific projects on a five-year budget cycle. New three-year TRIF plans are expected to be approved by the board this fall. TRIF projects at the three state universities fall under five themes:

  • Improving health
  • Water, environment and energy
  • Space exploration and optical science
  • National security systems
  • Higher education access and workforce development

Other items on the agenda:

  • The 2021 Arizona Teachers Academy annual report. The academy provides university-funded year-for-year tuition waiver scholarships for students who commit to teaching in Arizona public schools.
  • The FY 2022 $160,000 special line-item funding for adaptive athletics at the University of Arizona. The University plans to use the funding to expand scholarship offerings, purchase sports equipment, and provide uniforms and travel support.
  • The annual Cost Containment Report. The report details the ways the universities are reducing and containing costs while identifying innovative opportunities for savings.

 

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