UA Foundation Hires Auslander as Consultant for AZ Assurance

UA Foundation Hires Auslander as Consultant for AZ Assurance

By John BrownUniversity of Arizona Foundation
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The University of Arizona Foundation has hired former UA administrator Edith Sayre Auslander to serve as a consultant for the newly created Arizona Assurance scholarship program.

Auslander, who recently retired from her post as UA vice president and senior associate to the president, will lead the private support effort for the need-based scholarship program initiated by UA President Robert N. Shelton.

“Edie is a true Wildcat and the perfect fit for this new role,” Shelton said. “Throughout her career she has been a strong advocate for underserved and first-generation students."

Arizona Assurance is designed to make higher education affordable for more state residents. Most of those who qualify – students from families with an annual income of up to $42,400 – will be able to graduate debt-free. This fall, about 600 students will represent the first class of Arizona Assurance scholars.

Students who meet annual academic requirements have their tuition, books and room and board covered by the program. They also receive faculty mentoring and career guidance. This year the program is being funded through a combination of grants, work study and reallocated merit aid.

Private support is essential to meeting Arizona Assurance’s short- and long-term funding needs. The Foundation expects to simultaneously seek cash gifts to support the program’s immediate annual expenses and build an endowment fund that eventually could grow to $100 million or more.

“Edie is uniquely qualified to lead our fundraising efforts for Arizona Assurance,” said James H. Moore Jr., president of the UA Foundation. “She’s very familiar with campus life, financial aid, diversity issues and public policy on higher education.”

Auslander began in the position on Aug. 18.

“My entire career I have been blessed with the opportunity to work in the areas that are important to me and that I am passionate about,” Auslander said. “I am honored to help President Shelton realize his dream of what Arizona Assurance can become.”

Auslander, who received two journalism degrees from the UA, a bachelor's in 1961 and a master's in 1975, spent 16 years in newspapers and publishing. She joined the UA in 1977 as a member of the journalism department's faculty.

In 1984, she was appointed to an eight-year term on the Arizona Board of Regents. From 1984 to 2000, she worked at Tucson Newspapers as the equal employment opportunity officer and vice president of human resources.

In 2000, she returned to campus to serve as director of development for the Alumni Association before assuming her most recent post under President Emeritus Peter Likins and Shelton. Her duties included oversight on Regents' affairs, the Ombuds Program, the Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action Office and the Diversity Resource Office.

Auslander’s contributions to the Tucson community have been numerous. In 1986 she was named Woman of the Year by the Tucson Chamber of Commerce. She also has been named to the halls of fame of the UA Student Media Foundation and the National Association of Hispanic Journalists. The YWCA has honored her as a Woman on the Move and presented her with an Iris Dewhirst award.

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