Sunday, February 1, 2009

Expanding the Membership of the Arizona Board of Regents

The addition of Regional (PSU) and Technological (AzTech) state universities (as separate brands) further strengthens and diversifies the Arizona University System portfolio by providing the necessary flexibility for each institution to optimize its mission, innovation, and performance while maintaining local control. This discourages any university from "trying to be everything for everybody" while allowing each to better compete nationally with other universities in the same class. Each university maintains its quality control to avoid the perception of a "diploma mill."

Increasing the membership size from 3 to 5 reduces the likelihood of any single university from having an overbearing influence and its necessity for empire building. Many students can then choose to "opt out" from attending the overcrowded, heavy research universities (ASU and UA) which can increase overall enrollments and graduations for the Arizona University System.
Most other states with smaller population sizes already have more than 3 public universities each. It is unethical for the Arizona University System to intentionally limit the supply of public universities to artificially inflate the enrollment statistics at ASU and UA.

ASU and UA would explicitly behave as Arizona's flagship universities and can choose to adopt selective admissions policies to its entire university (not just the business schools). ASU, UA, PSU, and AzTech transform into Arizona's version of UCLA, UC Berkeley, CSUDH, and Cal Poly, respectively, but with a much more open admissions policy than these California universities. Arizonans will have more clearly defined state universities to choose from at various tuition price points and admissions standards which allow students to gauge "which one is right for them."