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What to watch for in Thursday's Arizona Board of Regents meeting

Regents will address student housing at Lake Havasu, Sun Devil Stadium renovations and general infrastructure during Thursday's meeting.

ABOR November 21

The Arizona Board of Regents holds a meeting inside the Turquoise Room at the Memorial Union in Tempe on Friday, Nov. 21, 2014. The regents deliberated a wide range of topics during the meeting.

The Arizona Board of Regents will convene Thursday at UA for its first meeting since Gov. Doug Ducey proposed a state budget cutting $75 million from universities. Here are the top four things to watch.

1. Housing at Lake Havasu

ASU will seek the board’s approval to purchase an Economy Inn in Lake Havasu City and convert it to student housing.

The satellite campus at Lake Havasu City opened in fall 2013 and now has 125 students. The campus is in a repurposed middle school, and students now have access to housing a few miles west of the campus at a Days Inn rented by the University.

The Economy Inn, which has 62 rooms, is adjacent to the campus. ASU plans to purchase it to create on-campus housing, citing better retention rates and academic performance for students who live on campus.

Purchasing the Economy Inn would cost $1.5 million, which the University plans to make up with revenue from student housing.

2. Sun Devil Stadium renovations

ASU has begun Phase 1 of Sun Devil Stadium renovation, tearing down parts of the south end zone to create a new student section. The Board will vote Friday on whether to allow the University to sell $60 million worth of bonds to fund constructions.

Another $5.7 million in costs comes from gifts, including $1 million combined from athletic director Ray Anderson and football coach Todd Graham.

3. ASU’s Capital Development Plan

Each university must revise and submit a new capital development plan each year, setting out its goals in terms of construction and renovation. ASU’s 2015 plan includes four capital projects, one of which is Sun Devil Stadium.

The University plans to use $17 million in system revenue bonds to update infrastructure, repairing buildings across its campuses. It's a fraction of the estimated $242 million ASU is missing in deferred maintenance, or renovations and repairs put off for budgetary reasons.

ASU also plans to renovate more than 50,000 square feet of classrooms across all four campuses. $10 million in bonds would be used to create new classrooms and renovate existing classrooms.

Finally, ASU would renovate 25,000 square feet of dry and wet lab spaces across the University, spending $10 million.

4. Two new degree programs

The Board approved most of ASU’s 2015-16 academic plan at its November meeting, but the University is trying to add two more programs.

The first, a master’s degree in sports law and business, would be run by the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law. ASU’s law students can now take some classes in the area. The W. P. Carey School of Business and Sun Devil Athletics will partner with the law school on classes and projects.

The sports law program comes on the heels of the University’s decision to offer bachelor's and master's degrees in sports journalism through the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication. ASU attributes both additions to growing student interest.

The second program, a bachelor’s degree in global management, comes on the heels of ASU’s announced partnership with the Thunderbird School of Global Management. ASU finalized its acquisition of the Glendale school in December.

The master’s degree in sports law and business would be offered solely to on-campus students at the Tempe campus, while the bachelor’s degree in global management will be available to on-campus and ASU online students.

Thursday's meeting begins at 8:30 a.m. from UA and will be broadcast live on the board's website. The State Press will also share live updates on Twitter.

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Correction: An earlier version of this story misstated the campuses on which each new degree program is located. It's been updated to reflect the correct information and clarify the law school's work with the Carey school and Sun Devil Athletics.

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