Arizona State University President Michael Crow recently addressed legislators, talking big money — in the form of tuition increases for Arizona’s university students. This is his tit, so to speak, for Gov. Brewer’s tat of necessary proposed budget reductions as the state struggles to resolve the massive deficit.
The state Board of Regents approved huge tuition hikes just last year, raising in-state tuition by 15.9% at ASU, 23.7% at the University of Arizona and 17.3% at Northern Arizona University. Then there are the ever-mounting surcharges and increased fees, all of which fly in the face of the state’s Constitutional mandate that a public education “be as nearly free as possible.” *
The university system is impacted not only with the $170 million in general fund cuts, but with the loss of hundreds of millions in federal stimulus money as well. That dependency on redistributed money became an unsustainable gravy train which even university presidents should have realized would screech to a halt. Surely Crow understands that a flood of federal dollars coming out of the pockets of others — many of them losing their jobs and homes — cannot continue. But maybe not. In June 2007 he was gifted with a 25% pay hike — bringing his annual compensation package to $720,000 — taking him out of the realm of most wage earners.
At the time of that report, it was noted that Crow was in line to earn an additional bonus of up to $150,000, if he met his 10 performance goals in the following year. Although recent salary and benefits information appears impossible to locate, we have a sneaking suspicion he qualified for that neat perk, also.
Crow and his wife Sybil Francis are doing quite well, thank you very much. Although their 4,000 square foot Paradise Valley Lincoln Estates bungalow has lost over $705,000 in taxable evaluation in the last couple of years, it is still taxed on well over a million dollars.
While Crow continues to demand more money from taxpayers, students and their families, he has yet to participate in solving the problem by reducing bloated salaries and perks — starting with his own institution. For a reality check, these are base salaries, minus bonuses and compensation packages — last updated in June 2008. Additional salary data: U of A and NAU.
* In 1935, the Arizona Supreme Court interpreted this to mean that fees could be neither excessive nor unreasonable. Obviously those justices never envisioned Michael Crow.