The University of Arizona has been reluctant to address specifically how much money this year’s massive campus reorganization would save, but Thursday at the Arizona Board of Regents meeting, the number was clear: $6 million.
The amount was detailed in a presentation on UA’s Academic Strategic Plan by Provost Meredith Hay.
In other business, the regents voted 6 to 1 to approve an amendment to the multi-year contract of UA head football coach Mike Stoops, which included raising his base salary to $1 million.
Regent Dennis DeConcini voted against the contract extension and salary increase, saying, “I find it hard to believe we’re going to approve this when we’re facing the (economic) problems we’re facing now.”
UA President Robert N. Shelton said bumping Stoop’s salary to $1 million would put him in the middle salary range for PAC 10 programs.
“He’s taken a program that was not reflective of the quality of this institution and he’s turned it around,” Shelton said, asking for the increase.
After the meeting, DeConcini said the contention that coach’s salaries are funded from ticket sales was a specious argument.
“These are public funds that come under the regents approval and we have an obligation to review and consider them well,” he said. “When we’re in the middle of a financial crisis and we don’t have to do it because he has 18 months left on his contract, well, it just looks bad to the public like, ‘They don’t care, it’s just another million dollars.’”
Hay was joined by the provosts from Arizona State University and Northern Arizona University in reviewing for regents major campus academic changes.
Regents unanimously approved all three plans with no comments or questions.
Hay said “no rock was left unturned” during the shakeup at UA, which resulted in closing numerous under-enrolled majors, creating the Colleges of Arts, Letters and Sciences, and mergers of various departments.
The estimated savings are expected to come from consolidation of administrative and business functions in merged colleges and departments, as well as layoffs of employees in certain areas.
According to documents presented to regents, staff layoffs are expected in the colleges of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Architecture and Landscape Architecture, Engineering, Humanities, Science and University College, which is being eliminated. Further savings will be realized by using fewer adjuncts in the colleges of Science and Education, according to the report.