We appreciate the governor’s inclusion of higher education in his fiscal year 2019 budget recommendation.
We look forward to continuing to work with policymakers to implement a funding model whereby the state covers half of the educational costs for Arizona residents to attend ASU. The current level of investment from the state is 34 percent per student.
And we will continue to pursue efficiency as a core tenet of our responsibility to the citizens of the state. A recent report by the national accounting and audit firm Grant Thornton found that ASU’s cost-per-student – a common measure of efficiency – is 38 percent below the average of its peer institutions, and 21 percent below an average of all four-year research universities. And the efficiency is on the rise: Grant Thornton found a decrease in the cost-per-student of more than $800 since 2008.
The research infrastructure bill signed into law by the governor last session is now enabling the construction of multiple new state-of-the-art research facilities that will advance educational opportunities, research and high-tech industry in Arizona. We appreciate the state’s support of these new facilities.
Over the past 10 years, the people of Arizona have decided they want the universities to find their own ways to finance the education of our citizens. ASU has vigorously embraced that challenge. We have evolved our model such that we operate as an entrepreneurial public enterprise, finding new ways to grow the university and expand educational opportunities for students. We will continue to do this through innovative business relationships, efficient corporate partnerships and effective philanthropy. This model is allowing us to continue to increase the number of Arizona students attending a world-class university at the lowest possible cost.
Governor Ducey – formerly as a Trustee of Arizona State University, now a Regent and the lead executive in the state – has always understood and supported this model.
As always, ASU will continue to fulfill its responsibilities under our charter and the constitution and we will continue to work with the state as a partner in our efforts to do so.