Last week, the Arizona Board of Regents (ABOR) approved over $2.4 million in salaries and bonuses for all three presidents of the state’s public universities — making them among the highest paid public employees in the state.
Arizona State University (ASU) President Michael Crow received a pay raise of over $38,500, bringing his base salary to over $809,800, as well as a $90,000 bonus. Crow also receives perks: housing, a vehicle allowance, and retirement contributions. ABOR extended his contract through June 2027.
Northern Arizona University (NAU) President José Luis Cruz Rivera received the largest pay raise of $61,800, bringing his base salary to $576,800, as well as a $75,000 bonus. ABOR extended his contract through June 2025.
University of Arizona (UArizona) President Robert Robbins received a pay raise of over $37,700, bringing his base salary to over $792,200. Robbins also received a $75,000 bonus. ABOR extended his contract through June 2025 as well.
The three presidents’ bonuses were contingent on the achievement of various at-risk goals.
Crow met all three at-risk goals: a strategy to address educational gaps in the state, a plan for the launch of at least one of the five Future Science and Technology Centers in the Fulton Schools of Engineering, and clarifying and documenting the expectations for relationships among ASU’s Teaching, Learning, and Knowledge Enterprises.
For Crow, an additional $150,000 in at-risk compensation goals were proposed for next year, each worth $50,000 if met: design and launch a premium brand for ASU online; develop and launch a plan to move the three core brands of the W.P. Carey School of Business, the Fulton Schools of Engineering, and the Barrett Honors College into three global brands; and design and launch a new Health Futures Strategy that includes a holistic approach around health sciences and launch preparations for the Public Health Technology School.
Crow also has five at-risk compensation goals through 2024 worth an additional $160,000. These goals will require Crow to demonstrate increased enrollment and student success in adaptive learning courses by offering over 15 courses, with an increase in overall course completion to over 80 percent; increase enrollment of Arizona students and number of graduates by over 10 percent; complete the design of the Global Futures Library with engagement of over 700 faculty members, as well as merge the three schools of the College of Global Futures; build and document enhanced regional collaboration in research; and demonstrate substantial expansion of ASU Digital Prep to at least 150 in-state schools, predominantly rural and underperforming schools.
Cruz Rivera also had three at-risk goals, which he met: a leadership team for NAU, restructured pricing and financial aid along with marketing and recruiting, and a set of goals and objectives to rebrand NAU.
For the upcoming year, Cruz Rivera has $135,000 in at-risk compensation goals aligned with the rebranding and restructuring efforts at NAU, each worth $45,000. Cruz Rivera must develop and implement a “New NAU System” to encompass in-person, online, and hybrid learning modalities, branch campuses, community college partnerships, and engagement with the state’s K-12 system. Cruz Rivera must also transform NAU Online, as well as increase enrollments and enhance career preparation opportunities.
Through 2024, Cruz Rivera is tasked with $120,000 in at-risk compensation goals, each worth $30,000. Cruz Rivera must expand the number of students from working-class families, increase overall graduation rates, and narrow completion gaps for working-class, first-generation, and minority groups; expand the Allied Health Programs and traditional NAU programs into Maricopa, Pima, and Yuma counties as well as distributed learning centers outside these three counties; and increase NAU profile, visibility, and programs for both Latino and Native American communities throughout the state and nationwide.
Robbins also met his three at-risk goals for this year: a new budget model that reduced college and department overhead costs by at least $10 million, a strategy to raise attainment in southern Arizona, and progress toward creating a Center for Advanced Immunology at the PBC.
In the coming year, Robbins faces $135,000 in at-risk compensation goals: secure at least $200 million in initial funding commitment from the state, local government, or private donors by next June for the Center for Advanced Molecular Immunotherapies; develop a plan to centralize responsibility and balance local authority in the university-wide administrative functional areas of Information Technology and Financial and Business Services by next June; and complete the transition of the UArizona Global Campus as an affiliated partner to its final stage under the full authority and oversight of UArizona by next June.
Then, Robbins faces $120,000 in at-risk compensation goals through the end of 2024: increasing retention by 85.5 percent; leveraging the Washington office of UArizona to increase federal research funding by 10 percent; progressing toward enhancing student experience and outcomes of the UArizona Global Campus; implementing an Information Technology security governance framework; and coordinating a collaborative relationship with ASU and NAU that raises the research potential of the UArizona College of Medicine Phoenix.
One of the things I appreciated most during my 30 years practicing medicine in community hospital ERs was that race just didn’t matter very much. ERs were open to all, and there was one standard of care for all races and classes.
That was then. Today a wave of intolerant wokeness is sweeping over our healthcare system, insisting that medicine is shot through with systemic racism and that research and education efforts must be diverted from medical science to “dismantling white supremacy” in medicine.
The Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) recently introduced their new Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) guidelines, which require that all medical students be taught to practice “allyship” when “witnessing injustice such as ‘microaggressions.’”
Residents are told to use their more advanced knowledge of intersectionality in making clinical decisions. (Just when you thought that race-based medical protocols were in our dark past.). Faculty are charged with teaching how “systems of power, privilege, and oppression inform policies and practices.”
Medical schools are enthusiastically falling in line. Examples abound. In 2021, the Anti-Racism Task Force at Columbia and the Diversity Task Force at Indiana University, joined by the University of Texas and other medical schools, endorsed the recommended AAMC “competencies.” “Health equity” concepts have become a prominent component of medical education.
The University of North Carolina is one of many schools that not only teach “social justice” and “anti-racism,” but use medical school applications to ensure compliance with principles of diversity in race, gender, and sexual orientation. Applicants who demonstrate reluctance toward the DEI agenda are weeded out in the application process. Oregon Health and Science University faculty are among those evaluated on their “DEI, anti-racism, and social justice core competencies” in performance appraisals.
The University of Arizona is on board too, with some additional twists. All faculty and staff are required to complete six hours of DEI training and complete one Implicit Association Test annually (in spite of its dubious relevance). Each of 17 clinical departments is required to hold three DEI credit-eligible events per year. All departments also have designated “diversity champions” to oversee compliance and round up laggards.
This is bad, very bad news for medical education, future doctors, and patients. Even before DEI was a thing, the quality of medical instruction had been in decline. Incoming students are less qualified and fail rates on board exams are climbing, partly because some students from groups that have been historically underserved are either allowed to skip the Medical College Admissions Test or are admitted with lower scores than those required from white and Asian applicants.
But instead of beefing up instruction in anatomy, physiology, and other disciplines that might come in handy when actually practicing medicine, medical schools are spending instructional time on such matters as white privilege and anti-racism, including Critical Race Theory (CRT).
CRT includes the notion that white people are inherently prejudiced against people of color and that there really is nothing they can do but acknowledge their defect, apologize, and grant compensating privileges to people of contrasting skin color, who by definition are incapable of bigotry. Dissenters from this new orthodoxy can be accused of “micro-aggressions” and “repressive practices” with ominous repercussions for their careers.
This intellectual intolerance also extends to those skeptical of “gender affirming care” for adolescents. This new practice provides permanent medical and surgical alterations to gender-confused school children for the rest of their lives so they can pretend to be the gender they choose when a teen. What could go wrong?
Several countries, including the U.K., Sweden, and France are now pulling back from relying on the judgments of impressionable adolescents for such drastic remediation, but dissenters in the U.S. are still punished.
Medical educators who teach students that racism and mutilation are okay when officially approved should humbly recall the history of their own profession. Modern medicine has been of immeasurable benefit to mankind. But when evidence-based science is ignored and authority replaces free inquiry, bad things happen.
Bleeding and purging, eugenics, thalidomide, lobotomies, and nonsterile wound probing are among the historical results. It is the duty of the medical profession to protect us from such horrors, not promote them.
Dr. Thomas Patterson, former Chairman of the Goldwater Institute, is a retired emergency physician. He served as an Arizona State senator for 10 years in the 1990s, and as Majority Leader from 93-96. He is the author of Arizona’s original charter schools bill.
According to the latest ACT scoring data, the average Arizona student doesn’t achieve an ACT score recommended as a minimum by Arizona State University (ASU), Northern Arizona University (NAU), and the University of Arizona (UArizona).
On Tuesday, the ACT organization announced that the national average score for its eponymous college admissions test was the lowest it’s been in over 30 years: 19.8. However, Arizona fared worse: 18.3. The state’s students, on average, also fell below the ACT’s college readiness benchmarks.
If students go by their ACT scores, ASU requires first-year in-state applicants to have scored at least a 22 overall, while out-of-state applicants must score a 24. Both NAU and UArizona require freshmen applicants to score at least a 21 in English, 24 in math, and 20 in science.
All three universities present the ACT score as one of several possible criteria for admission, offering SAT scores, GPAs, and even certain courses taken as alternatives. During the pandemic, the three state universities made the SAT/ACT optional.
The organization noted in its state-by-state breakdown of data that the most accurate way to compare composite scores would be to compare the averages of states sharing similar percentages of graduates tested.
Even within that context, Arizona fared poorly according to the 64 percent of student scores available for review. The state with the next-highest percentage of graduates tested, Missouri (66 percent), boasted a composite score of 20.12. The state with the next-lowest percentage of graduates tested, South Dakota (58 percent), boasted a composite score of 21.42.
In a press release, ACT CEO Janet Godwin explained that this year of poor performance was the fifth consecutive year of decline: a “worrisome trend.” Godwin noted “longtime systemic failures” in the educational system, predating the pandemic, brought the nation’s students to this point.
“A return to the pre-pandemic status quo would be insufficient and a disservice to students and educators,” stated Godwin. “These systemic failures require sustained collective action and support for the academic recovery of high school students as an urgent national priority and imperative.”
The University of Arizona (UArizona) announced this week that it would establish a Center for East Asian Studies. East Asia includes China, Japan, Mongolia, North Korea, South Korea, and Taiwan. UArizona is the only higher education institution in the state with an East Asia NRC.
The U.S. Department of Education (DOE) awarded UArizona $5.9 million to launch the program under its Office of Postsecondary Education (OPE) Title IV National Resource Center (NRC) grants.
The purpose of Title VI NRCs is to instill understanding of the countries featured by the center and teach one or more of those countries’ languages. Additionally, these centers maintain relationships with foreign higher education institutions and other organizations that contribute to each center’s teaching and research.
Other East Asia NRCs are located at Columbia University, Stanford University, Ohio State University, University of California – Berkeley, University of Chicago, University of Hawaii, University of Kansas, University of Michigan, University of Pennsylvania, University of Pittsburgh, University of Washington, and University of Wisconsin – Madison.
For the 2022 fiscal year, OPE appropriated over $25.5 million in funds to NRCs.
The establishment of a center focused on East Asian studies comes about two years after the mass forced closures of Chinese government-backed Confucius Institutes: a trio consisting of the Chinese government, a Chinese higher education institute, and an American higher education institute.
Confucius Institutes pushed Chinese propaganda without academic freedom under the guise of teaching Chinese language and culture. In all, the Chinese government had a foothold in 118 higher education institutions.
Along with UArizona, Arizona State University (ASU) once had a Confucius Institute. Under changes to federal law under the Trump administration, both universities closed their institutes.
However, both universities have maintained their ties to China through other avenues. UArizona continues its relationship with China and their Confucius Institute partner Shaanxi Normal University through other departments, such as the Center for Buddhist Studies. Likewise, ASU continues its relationship with China’s Sichuan University.
While it had a Confucius Institute on campus, UArizona shared a comfortable relationship with the Chinese government. Three years into the institute’s founding, the university shared a news feature on their institute from CCTV: the Chinese government-controlled news station.
Records obtained from the University of Arizona (UArizona) revealed that its bias reporting system inspired political correctness witch hunts among students.
UArizona provided the records to a College Fix reporter after initially denying their request for all 2021 reports submitted to the Bias Education & Support Team (BEST). The Goldwater Institute, a Phoenix-based public policy research and litigation organization, sent a letter on behalf of the reporter to UArizona insisting that the university must comply with public records law.
According to the records, a group of students reported one female peer for drawing a darker-toned person picking cotton when she was given the word “cotton” to depict for an Pictionary-like online game. The group complained that they felt “deeply ashamed” of her insensitivity, and wanted the school to help her understand why her actions were hurtful and how she could grow in the future.
“While she claimed that she did not specifically denote the race of the person, the witnesses claimed that she chose a dark brown color for their skin tone,” read the complaint. “[She] claims she was only trying to make a historical reference and did not have discriminatory intent [but] several members of the zoom call told her the drawing was inappropriate.”
“Cotton” is one of the well-known “Five Cs” of Arizona’s economy, in addition to cattle, citrus, climate, and copper.
In another bias complaint, one student reported a professor for using “outdated and offensive” terms: “transsexual,” “transgendered,” and “mentally retarded” during class discussions.
“[P]rofessors should be required and expected to use the modern and correct terminology when discussing these issues, especially when there may be students in the class who have intellectual disabilities or who have friends and family who have intellectual disabilities,” wrote the student.
Another report was filed against a professor for asking a student if she had a green card after the student mentioned that her family lived in Mexico. Another report was filed against a professor who was perceived as supportive of police, failed to exhibit grief over the deaths of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, and discussed their deaths in the context of shared meanings between cultures.
“The classroom is not an appropriate place to discuss these matters,” the complaint read. “Supporting the police openly in class during such a sensitive time in this country, as well as during Black History Month, was completely unprofessional.”
Another complaint was submitted against a student for expressing that he didn’t want to reside in the same dorm hallway as “trannies,” slang for transgender individuals.
Goldwater Institute Vice President of Litigation Jon Riches told AZ Free News that they were pleased that UArizona decided to comply with the law, but troubled that a reporter had to obtain a lawyer in the first place.
“These were public records. It was troubling that they originally denied the request, particularly since they fulfilled a similar records request two years earlier,” said Riches. “Public records custodians will sometimes deny a request despite knowing that they should produce it, hoping the requestor will just go away. It shouldn’t require a lawyer to get involved. The information is public. We’re glad they did the right thing.”
The resistance of UArizona and government entities to records requests prompted the Goldwater Institute to launch an initiative to increase public records compliance: “Open My Government.”
As AZ Free News reported, the UArizona public records coordinator that denied the College Fix records request into BEST, Kim Fassl, has a professional connection with one of the six women leading BEST, or the “Core Team.”
Prior to handling public records requests, Fassl was UArizona’s associate director of residential education for student behavioral education. BEST Core Team leader Nina Pereira was Fassl’s superior at the time, serving as the director of residential education that oversees behavioral education.
BEST says it offers educational and dialogue opportunities, but doesn’t conduct investigations, issue disciplinary sanctions, or require any participation. However, BEST does pass on perceived student or faculty violations of UArizona’s nondiscrimination and anti-harassment policy to higher administrative offices, such as the Dean of Students Office, the Office of Institutional Equity, and Human Resources.