Skip to Content, Navigation, or Footer.

Crow gives State of ASU presentation, UA provides updates to ABOR

Crow highlighted ASU's financial achievements at a board meeting that included protesters, a legal threat and sports contracts

ASU President Michael Crow presenting during an ABOR meeting at the Memorial Union on the Tempe campus on Thursday, Feb. 22, 2024.

In an eventful public board meeting, the Arizona Board of Regents Chair Fred DuVal said he would take legal action against a University of Arizona professor who accused him of sustaining a conflict of interest during a board meeting Thursday at the ASU Tempe campus. 

President Michael Crow also gave a presentation to ABOR about the state of the University, and he said ASU's new medical school will be opening for enrollment in Fall 2026. 

ABOR also approved UA men's basketball head coach Tommy Lloyd's contract extension through 2029 and unanimously approved a multi-year contract for Desireé Reed-Francois, UA's new athletic director. The governing body moved the Arizona Promise Program's priority deadline for FAFSA from April 1 to May 1 due to pending problems with FAFSA processing. 

ASU President Michael Crow alongside ABOR Chair Fred DuVal and ABOR Treasurer Lyndel Manson during a meeting at the Memorial Union on the Tempe campus on Thursday, Feb. 22, 2024.

Fred DuVal and UA legal action

ABOR encouraged UA to "establish new faculty leadership" following DuVal being accused by UA Faculty Senate Chair Leila Hudson of having a conflict of interest with Amicus Investors while he served on the board. DuVal said his time with Amicus and his time on the board "never overlapped" and expressed concern with how the allegations were raised against him. 

Another regent, treasurer Lyndel Manson, further criticized the UA Faculty Senate for its "culture of fear that has been instilled by current leadership", and that "the level of dysfunction on display" was "embarrassing" to her. 

DuVal said he has retained former U.S. Attorney Paul Charlton as legal counsel and "will pursue legal remedies." 

"I must personally say this crosses a line," Duval said. "I refuse to be a punching bag or let intentional defamation go unanswered."

The Tucson Daily Star reported that DuVal sent a cease and desist letter to Hudson, the professor who had questioned DuVal's involvement with Amicus during his tenure on ABOR. 

"Faculty senate members have received a demand to preserve all documents on this topic that will support my remedies and get my reputation fully back," DuVal later said.

Protestors at the UCWA protest in the ABOR meeting in the Memorial Union on the Tempe campus on Thursday, Feb. 22, 2024.

Where ABOR stands on HB 2178 and HB 2735

ASU and UA student organizations and faculty rallied against House Bill 2178 and House Bill 2735 during the public comments portion of the ABOR meeting.

Representatives from Socialist Revolution at ASU, United Campus Workers of Arizona and Undergraduate Student Government West Valley took the microphone to voice their discontent with the bills right after DuVal and Manson criticized the UA Faculty Senate.

HB 2178, if passed, will create an option for students to keep their student fees from funding certain student organizations. HB 2735 would weaken faculty participation in university governance and relegate them to "consultants" — giving the most power to university presidents and ABOR. 

READ MORE: ASU student organizations denounce student activities bill in Arizona legislature

ABOR is registered as being against HB 2178, but because the bill passed with bipartisan support through the House of Representatives, ABOR may have to seek a different route, according to Thomas Adkins, ABOR's vice president of government affairs and community relations. 

"We are forced to explore alternative options to address the bill, but preserve the student government-led process as much as possible," Adkins said. 

ABOR is neutral on HB 2735, according to the Arizona Legislature website, which tracks which organizations' positions on bills and resolutions in the legislature. 

UA President Robert C. Robbins alongside members of the Arizona Board of Regents at the Memorial Union on the Tempe campus on Thursday, Feb. 22, 2024.

University of Arizona financial crisis and sports contracts

John Arnold, UA interim chief financial officer, walked ABOR through the university's finances for 2023. 

According to his report, UA lost $140 million in cash between 2022 and 2023. The deficit could have been worse if not for UA's purchase of the University of Arizona Global Campus, which contributed $47 million in positive cash flow. 

Arnold also said in the meeting UA projected an athletics loss of over $30 million dollars.  

"Since I've been down at the University of Arizona, a number of people have asked me why didn't I see the financial problems at the university coming," Arnold said. "We have a case study in front of us: Are these an effective use of metrics? Are there a better set of metrics we should be looking at and just ended? I think there probably are."

Arnold said a large part of UA's costs came from hiring personnel because the university has admitted more students, but he remained optimistic about UA's financial plan for the future.

"The university is still in a strong cash position; we'd like it to be stronger and we will work towards making it stronger," he said.

ABOR also approved Lloyd's contract extension and Reed-Francois's multi-year contract with UA. Both decisions were unanimous.

Protestor holding a sign during an ABOR meeting at the Memorial Union on the Tempe campus on Thursday, Feb. 22, 2024.

FAFSA Updates

ABOR moved the FAFSA priority deadline for the Arizona Promise Program from April 1 to May 1, citing nationwide problems with FAFSA's rollout, which made it harder for students to fill out the form. 

Most notably, students have been unable to invite their parents to fill out the parental part of the FAFSA, and students with parents who do not have social security numbers are unable to fill it out.  

Due to those glitches, between 8,000 and 10,000 Arizona high school seniors cannot fill out their FAFSA form, according to Julie Sainz, director of FAFSA and college access initiatives for ABOR. Sainz said the glitch will be fixed in mid-March. 

Arizona is down around 45% compared to last year in terms of FAFSA completion, making it 49th in the nation for FAFSA completion, according to data presented by Sainz and Jane Kuhn, chief enrollment and student success officer for ABOR. 

"I am absolutely mind-boggled that our Department of Education, which is in charge of providing funds to low-income students to attend college, actually put out a brand new system and a brand new form without running them side by side, without doing any sort of beta testing and has failed the students and the families of this country miserably," Manson said. 

Crow expressed more optimism about the FAFSA situation, urging for action rather than dwelling on the FAFSA issues. 

"We look at this as something that's like a massive thunderstorm delivering water to a desert-parched area that came on the wrong day. You've got to adjust to what's going on," Crow said. "We intend to see no reduction in enrollment, no reduction whatsoever."

2024 ASU financial report

Net tuition increased by 33% between 2019 and 2023, according to the report ASU provided to ABOR. 

Full-time enrollment increased by 23%. Educational and general expenses per student increased by 9% during that four-year period. The report attributes this increase to "costs associated with enrollment growth."  

Aside from the new medical school, opening in Fall 2026, Crow said ASU is further expanding with five new buildings in 2024-25. 

Edited by Grey Gartin, Alysa Horton and Shane Brennan

Reach the reporter at and follow @miaosmonbekov on X.

Like The State Press on Facebook and follow @statepress on X.

Continue supporting student journalism and donate to The State Press today.

Subscribe to Pressing Matters



This website uses cookies to make your experience better and easier. By using this website you consent to our use of cookies. For more information, please see our Cookie Policy.