The dictionary’s first definition of the noun “regent”:
1. a person appointed to administer a country because the monarch is a minor or is absent or incapacitated.
The Arizona Board of Regents is the governing body of Arizona’s public university system, providing policy guidance to the state’s three universities.The Governor appoints eight volunteer members for staggered eight-year terms. Obviously they have a job to do — but we, the citizens of Arizona are neither absent or incapacitated. As taxpayers, parents and students, we foot the bill for the ever increasing tuition and fees to ensure the university presidents get their overly generous salaries, perks and bonuses. The following two posts provide a bit of perspective: Michael Crow, Sybil Francis: A$U’s pricey duo is from Feb. 2013. In 2014, we pointed out what a deal we were told we were getting for our money: Gifting ASU’s Prez with $95K raise+benies = one helluva deal.
This was the benign sounding Oct. 26, 2016 meeting notice regarding the “possible direction to the University of Arizona regarding its colleges of medicine.”
The front page article in the daily newspaper the next day, carried a more ominous headline, “Regents end inquiry into UA medical school in Phoenix, but keep report under wraps.” The newspaper account details the closed-door hearing and refusal of the media request to release a copy of the report after the Arizona Medical association, representing 4,000-member doctors, requested an independent review of the circumstances surrounding the departures of Dr. Stuart Flynn, longtime dean of UA’s Phoenix medical school, and a half-dozen leaders on his management team. The medical association wanted the consultant’s review to include interviews of Flynn and other departed leaders.
The article also included this separately boxed haughty comment from Greg Patterson, the chairman of the Board of Regents: “The board does not believe that additional board inquiry is necessary at this time.” Period. End of discussion.
The Regents include lawyers, lobbyists, a doctor, business and civic leaders, a Hopi tribal leader and educators. We might be better served with a few construction workers, waitresses and auto mechanics in the mix — regular folks who struggle to send their kids to college. The arrogance level might decline to more acceptable levels.