by David Safier
Regent Fred DuVal said during the meeting that conservative lawmakers are relishing the opportunity to cut higher education, as it would undo the work of recently departed Gov. Janet Napolitano.
"This debate could not honestly be about our productivity," he said. "It is about our fundamental mission. This is, in short, budget retaliation."
Arizona State University President Michael Crow said the proposed cuts represent not just an economic hit, but also a political move by lawmakers to change how the three institutions offer higher education.
"What we released were just possible options," he said. "They made a lot of people and students unnecessarily upset."
Kavanagh said he's already met for several hours with the presidents of the three universities to work out "reasonable, acceptable cuts." But he warned those will "still be painful."