In Arizona, a Call to Shorten Regents’ Terms

April 14, 2016

If it goes through, a new bill could give Arizona’s governor more power over state universities.

Right now, most members of the Arizona Board of Regents serve eight-year terms. Under the new bill, backed by Republican lawmakers, they would serve four-year terms, the Arizona Republic reports. The governor nominates 10 of the 12 members of the Arizona Board of Regents, which oversees the state’s three public four-year universities. Critics say the shorter terms would allow the governor too much control over Arizona higher education -- and regents wouldn’t be able to take the time to get acquainted with state education policy.

"I don't think it's wise to allow one person in the executive branch to stack this board the way they see fit," State Senator Andrew Sherwood told the Arizona Republic. "What's wise is staggering that to make sure nobody can ever do that."

Supporters argue that it can be difficult to find candidates willing to make the eight-year commitment, and that shorter term lengths will allow the board to foster new ideas.

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