AZ AG Brnovich sues Board of Regents over tuition hikes

September 9, 2017

On Friday Attorney General Mark Brnovich filed a lawsuit against the Arizona Board of Regents (“ABOR”) for dramatically and unconstitutionally increasing the price of base tuition and mandatory fees at Arizona’s public universities by more than 300 percent since 2003. The Arizona Constitution requires that “the university and all other state educational institutions shall be open to students of both sexes, and the instruction furnished shall be as nearly free as possible.”

“Every Arizonan dreams of being able to send their kids to college,” Brnovich stated. “Within the last 15 years, Arizona went from having some of the most affordable public universities to having some of the most expensive. We believe the Board of Regents needs to be held accountable and answer tough questions for Arizona’s skyrocketing tuition rates.”

The State alleges that ABOR has adopted unconstitutional tuition-setting policies, has abandoned its duty to serve as a check on the university presidents, and has ceased deriving tuition rates from the actual cost of instruction. According to the lawsuit, ABOR has misinterpreted its “nearly free” mandate to mean whatever the market rate is for peer institutions and made itself as the arbiter of “affordability” for Arizona’s students and families.

Intertwined with these price hikes, ABOR has also refused to comply with Arizona law prohibiting state subsidies for students “without lawful immigration status.” ABOR is causing the illegal expenditure of public monies and the failure to collect tuition in direct contravention of clear and established Arizona law

The 20-page lawsuit can be read here.

Seeing Red AZ has been writing about the ongoing tuition and fee hikes for years, as well as the excessive salaries, bonuses and perks ASU President Michael Crow and his wife Sybil Francis receive. These are just a few of the posts going back to 2007 — the year of the launching of this blog.

Sept. 30, 2014: Gifting ASU’s Prez with $95K raise+benies = one helluva deal

Apr. 22, 2014:  AZ higher education: As nearly free as possible? & Update

March 7, 2013: ASU’s Crow backs lower tuition for illegals — again

Feb. 8, 2013:   Michael Crow, Sybil Francis: A$U’s pricey duo

May 7, 2011:   ASU’s Crow tackles budget reductions by raising tuition – again

Feb. 2, 2011:   ASU’s overpaid Crow warns of tuition increase as stimulus ebbs

Apr. 11, 2009: “Economic recovery surcharges” hit AZ university students

March 6, 2008: Disputed scholarships for illegals revived

Nov. 23, 2008: AZ universities feel students’ pain as tuition spirals and money dries up

Apr. 26, 2008:  ASU’s overpaid King Crow issues threats

Nov. 17, 2008: ASU’s Crow in cash glut while economy tanks and tuition rises

Sept. 8, 2007:  ASU’s Michael Crow subverts intent of law

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Toppling monuments: Analyzing the radical leftist’s demands

August 20, 2017

This past week has provided most of us with too much political lunacy to digest. Wide-scale death and injury perpetrated by Islamic jihadists in Spain and Finland, North Korea, led by a madman is threatening a “merciless (nuclear) strike,” and here at home riots and bizarre demands made by the undereducated who are not only toppling historical Civil War monuments but now want to obliterate references to our nation’s founders — Presidents Washington, Jefferson, Madison and others who owned slaves. Today we all agree the practice, then legal, was reprehensible. It is a stain on our past, but one we brought to an end.

In a testament to the pathetic state of  American education with leftist union teachers falling down on the job of educating the students in their charge, a statue of President Abraham Lincoln, the first Republican president and the man famed for emancipating slaves, was defaced and then burned. Rampaging liberals, intent on destruction, lack the facts to discern that it was Republicans such as Lincoln who emerged victorious in the brutal Civil War that put an end to slavery. Democrats fought to defend it.

The word “racist” is hurled with impunity. “Hate speech” — speech the left disagrees with — has become an unpardonable sin, no longer worthy of First Amendment protection. Universities, which should be the bastions encouraging and protecting free expression, shut down or disinvite speakers with whom their liberal students disagree. 

Our president is arriving in Phoenix for a rally on Tuesday, and two far left Democrat Arizona Congressmen will be acting as ring leaders ginning up an unruly mob to gain national attention, since they’ve accomplished  nothing worthy of note.

Matthew Vadum, writing for FrontPage mag provides a thought-provoking piece, Sharpton targets the Jefferson Memorial, which we highly recommend.


Hero or Goat? Typifying the liberal quandary

July 30, 2017

Though deeply entrenched in the digital world, there remains an enigmatic appeal to holding a book or magazine in our hands and turning pages. This explains why the arrival of the conservative Weekly Standard in the mailbox each week is such a pleasure.

The magazine runs the gamut from serious commentary, analysis of the news to dashes of humor. Today we bring you the humor, which we all so richly deserve after the antics that dominated the news this past week. This selection is from The Scrapbook:

Hero or Goat?

The latest threat to the American workforce has arrived, and it’s on four hooves.

A public-employee union is up in arms over a team of blue-collar billy-goats employed to clear brush on a college campus. The union claims that by using the animals, Western Michigan University is snatching jobs away from union workers. They’re not kidding around, either—the union has filed a grievance against the university. Their complaint is a sort of inversion of Orwell’s Animal Farm motto: Two legs good, four legs ba-a-a-a-ad.

What’s particularly delightful about this conflict is how it pits two key leftist enterprises—public-employee unions and college environmentalists—against one another. After all, the reason Western Michigan University chose goat grazers in the first place was concern for the environment. Eschewing chemicals, the college instead opted for the green solution, hiring a team of 20 goats to clear 10 acres of rough bramble and poison ivy. Last year a trip of 10 goats proved efficient and sustainable, and the current flock is ahead of schedule.

Alas, such environmental considerations weren’t enough to pacify the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees. The union was quick to leap to the defense of its members in the face of the ruminant menace.

And just how great is that menace? The Washington Post did the math and found that in one month, one person with a tractor can do the work of 3,600 goats. Even if all 2.5 million goats in the United States were employed, they would only threaten 347 full-time human jobs nationwide.

Small as that number may be (and it’s nothing compared with the threat posed by automated robot goats), it’s not nonexistent, which leaves leftists with a dilemma. It seems to The Scrapbook that there is an obvious compromise that would satisfy all parties: The goats should unionize.


AZ blazes educational trail with ESA vouchers

July 3, 2017

Empowerment Scholarship Accounts open educational choice to all students

The daily newspaper, which adamantly opposes parental choice in education, provided an editorial platform for Sen. Debbie Lesko to inform the public of the passage of her bill authorizing Empowerment Scholarship Accounts.

Does anyone smell a rat?

The newspaper titles Sen. Lesko’s  AZ I See It op-ed Lawmaker: Stop spreading fear about vouchers. But the machinations don’t stop there.  A video accompanies the online version of Sen. Lesko’s commentary. Straddling the back of an orange settee, reporter Joanna Allhands, looking like she’s about to take her vehicle to a do-it-yourself car wash, engages in a cheesy display to make the point that she and the newspaper she works for, oppose the accounts.

As the AZ Senate President Pro Tempore, Lesko didn’t just fall off the political turnip truck. She’s a savvy leader who has been an active member of the community and has served in the state legislature since 2009. She’s also a parent of three children and a grandparent, which gives her more than passing familiarity with public schools and their inability to serve every child effectively.

A Republican representing Legislative District 21, Lesko was the sponsor of Senate Bill 1431, legislation expanding Empowerment Scholarship Accounts, which gives all parents the ability to make educational choices in the best interests of their own children.

Under the provisions of Sen. Lesko’s legislation, signed into law by Gov. Doug Ducey, all students will be eligible for this educational opportunity. It was originally available only for students with special needs.

Republicrat Kate Brophy McGee shamefully joined with unified Democrats  — tied at the hip with the educrat unions, as disclosed by Center for Responsive Politics —  to vote against the measure. It passed, despite her efforts to undermine parental choice.

Center for Arizona Policy carries an excellent overview of the ESA program, including information regarding the unsuccessful lawsuits filed by the education establishment attempting to halt the opportunity for Arizona children to achieve academic success.


AZ Regents chair gets testy at challenge, hurls personal insults & UPDATE

June 17, 2017

Mark Finchem, a Republican representing Dist. 11 in Tucson doesn’t meet the high standard of dress established by former state legislator Greg Patterson — who has since gone to law school and is now the Arizona Board of Regents (ABOR) chairman. Patterson oversees the three state universities he previously sucker punched for their imperial excesses.

It no doubt galls Patterson, who is also a CPA, that the less educated Rep. Finchem is a member of the Judiciary and Public Safety Committee and Vice Chair of two other significant committees.

In a private meeting that Patterson secretly recorded,* he laid into Finchem — who along with East Valley Rep. Jill Norgaard (R-Dist. 18) — had the temerity to co-sponsor a bill to rein in the authority of the board that Patterson chairs.

Apparently, she dresses well enough and is suitably degreed to suit Patterson, but her perch as Chair of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Education, gives her a level of prominence that rankles the ‘Top Regent’ who takes his title very seriously. Bully Patterson referred to Rep. Finchem’s western attire as a  “costume that doesn’t work.” He advised Finchem to trim his mustache and buy a suit before abruptly leaving the meeting.

Though Patterson has been a registered lobbyist since 1997, he fails miserably in the area of persuasive techniques.

This news article provides background on the unsavory meeting, and includes disapproving comments of Patterson’s actions from Vice Chair Bill Ridenour, who takes over as chairman July 1. Board of Regents President Eileen Klein, also condemned Patterson’s behavior, saying it was not reflective of how the regents do business. 

The Arizona Board of Regents voted on Jan. 20 to oppose SB 1061, a bill proposing to cap tuition and fee increases at two percent per year at the state’s public universities. The bill was co-sponsored by nine Republican state senators and one Republican state representative and would have significantly restricted the power of the regents and the universities to impose ever escalating tuition and fees on students. Readers have to plow through ten paragraphs of self-congratulatory hogwash to get to ABOR’s opposition to restrictions to rein in student costs. 

Universities do not have market forces and shareholders to enforce spending discipline, so foisting the trickery of “a $1 billion/30-year plan to fund new capital and rebuild aging infrastructure without raising taxes,” sounds reasonable to the elites who won’t be around in 2047 to answer for its ruinous impact.

One burning question remains: Were they dressed appropriately enough to meet Greg Patterson’s exacting standards as they implemented the epic con job?

ABOR Chair Greg Patterson has resigned after hurling an insult-laden spew at state legislator Mark Finchem.

As of his resignation Monday June 19, the pretentious Board of Regents chairman is now officially a goner, though he still had three years on his term. According to this report in the Arizona Republic, he laid off his obtuse insults — which he secretly recorded and then disseminated to shocked regent staffers — on being “overzealous.” He also declared he was in a “caffeine-induced rage.”  If those foolish excuses weren’t enough, he had one more up what we assume was his perfectly starched and ironed sleeve.  He didn’t want to be a “distraction.”

Patterson won’t distract anyone. But as he toils at his lobbyist day job, will he be able to attract clients who don’t want to risk having their grooming insulted?


Boorish grads boo U.S. Ed. Sec. Betsy DeVos

May 11, 2017

Commencement season brings with it prominent speakers to bestow words of wisdom on graduates as they leave the confines of academia and prepare to make their way in the world. In generations past, the speakers were greeted with cordiality as the eager college seniors looked forward to putting their years of education to good use.

Unfortunately, times have changed. Many students, such as those at U of Calif. Berkeley, are practiced rioters. Twelve previous years of El-Hi have inculcated them with massive doses of liberalism — five days a week, 180 days a year. Rioters are not alone.  There are now a substantial number of “snowflakes,” who react negatively to instruction or issues they disdain, needing safe spaces, soothing music, coloring books, puppies and hot cocoa to comfort them.

They are products of non-competitiveness, where everyone on the team gets a participation award, but there are no actual winners, or conversely, losers. The prospect of hurting a losing competitor’s feelings is too unbearable to comprehend. Graduates who are unable to speak grammatically correct English are indicative of the lack of time spent on communication skills. What American History is taught has been given a new slant along with factual revisionism. Americans are not world leaders who live in freedom, granted by a masterfully crafted Constitution that invokes a Creator. It is an aggressor nation that oppresses its citizens and exploits the environment.

Graduates are not likely to favor capitalism over communism, because they view the former as exploitive, though they have no real grasp on the issues. Many of them voted for Socialist Bernie Sanders. They refer to politicians they don’t like as “Hitler,” lacking any understanding of the atrocities committed by the Nazi Third Reich.

It is with this backdrop that U. S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, was scheduled to give the commencement address at Bethune-Cookman University — a historically black university in Daytona Beach, Florida on Wednesday.

DeVos was greeted with loud boos and turned backs as she reached the lectern to deliver her commencement remarks. As she spoke, she was booed, shouted at, and met with calls of “Go home!” from students and audience members. Minutes into her speech, the president of BCU, Edison Jackson, stopped her to address the disruptive students. Jackson said degrees would be mailed to students if their behavior continued. “Choose which way you want to go,” he said.

DeVos began again, but the toothless warning went unheeded as the boos increased.  She addressed some of the opposition to her speaking at the black university, asking for those critical of her to hear her out, voicing the Trump administration’s support for black colleges and universities. “We support you and we will continue to support you,” she said.

Business Insider reports that the weeks leading up to her speech were marked by vocal opposition by students, civil rights organizations, and Florida education groups, who claimed DeVos has no understanding of the history and significance of historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs)

Parents often go into debt to provide the college education they believe to be the key to their children’s successful futures. But instead of being educated, they are being indoctrinated and propagandized by mostly leftwing unionist instructors. This is where their National Education Association (NEA*) dues go. The American Federation of Teachers (AFT*) has the same agenda. American children spend more time each day with these agents of the left than they do their own parents.

On Tuesday, petitions carrying the names of over 8,000 students were delivered to university leaders urging them to “disinvite” DeVos from addressing the commencement ceremony.

Victimhood is a status graduating college seniors — of any background or ethnicity —-should ditch. It clashes with caps and gowns.

*H/T Center for Responsive Politics


Janet Napolitano: She’s only gotten worse

May 1, 2017

Right thinking Arizonans dealt as best they could under the oppressive, radically left-wing Gov. Janet Napolitano. It wasn’t easy as she repeatedly slashed her veto pen over excellent bills — earning her the moniker J-No,  unwaveringly appointed partisans to the state courts, and declared her bonding to open borders with her notorious statement, “You show me a 50-foot wall and I’ll show you a 51-foot ladder at the border. That’s the way the border works.”

We all knew Janet Napolitano never had a commitment to securing America against invasion.

Who knew she was also a crook?

Breitbart features a revealing article by Chriss W. Street that reminds us of how fortunate we are to be rid of this wretched liberal who abandoned her gubernatorial post to join the Obama administration as the ineffectual Secretary of Homeland Security. Now as the coarse and boorish president of the University of California system, Napolitano is accused in this recently released 167 page report by the California State Auditor Elaine Howle of hiding $175 million in budget surpluses while continuing to raise student tuition.

The audit found that the UC spent $32.5 billion on expenses during the 2015-16 school year to fund 10 campuses, five medical centers, and its Office of the President headquarters. Although the UC states that its “fundamental missions are teaching, research and public service,” the UC only spent “$6.7 billion (21 percent) on teaching, “$4.6 billion (14 percent) on research” and “$630 million (2 percent) on public service.” The other $20.6 billion (63 percent) was spent on non-fundamental activities.

This Los Angeles Times editorial tries its damndest, wildly contorting language using “might not” twice in the single headline, to give cover to Napolitano as it questions the audit. This is an example:

“The audit puzzlingly implies that non-restricted funds are either being hoarded or misspent on illegitimate uses instead of direct student services. One of the supposedly problematic projects it names is UC’s Washington Center in the District of Columbia, where students from all campuses are eligible to live in a dorm and take courses. If this isn’t a direct student service, it’s hard to imagine what is. Other uses of the money include helping undocumented students who fear deportation and reducing UC’s carbon footprint.”

Could the newspaper’s agenda be any more clear?

This may, might, could convince the equally far leftist California Gov. Jerry Brown (brief video), but not many others. Janet Napolitano needs to be replaced.