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Critics want UA President to resign

Posted at 7:40 PM, Apr 08, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-08 22:42:10-04
TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - University of Arizona President Ann Weaver Hart makes well over a half million dollars a year--  but a side job that pays much less has state lawmakers, and others calling on her to quit one of the jobs---or both.
      
Hart took a job on the board of DeVry University. 
      
That's a for-profit school--  the Federal Trade Commission is suing on a claim that it inflated statements about the jobs its students get after graduation.
        
Now critics are questioning whether UA's President is short changing the school she leads.
 
One of them is State Representative Bruce Wheeler.  He says, “We are asking that she resign from the University of Arizona as President, effectively immediately and we are going to pursue this vigorously."
     
Wheeler is one of 22 state lawmakers who say Ann Weaver Hart should be busy defending UA from deep state budget cuts, not taking a side job with DeVry University.
     
She gets about 655 thousand dollars a year for leading U of A.
     
DeVry University pays her 70 thousand dollars plus 100 thousand in stock to sit on the board for that for-profit school.
      
DeVry specializes in older students who may be returning to school.  The Federal Trade Commission is suing DeVry. 
 
The FTC claims DeVry made it look like its graduates are more successful than they really are by counting graduates in jobs unrelated to their degrees---jobs that may have been no improvement over their work before they paid to attend DeVry.
           
A University of California official resigned from DeVry's board under the same sort of criticism focused on President Hart.  But Hart has stayed on.
           
In a statement, she said, in part, "I plan to maintain my board appointment because I understand the challenges faced by nontraditional students, having been one myself and I view my board membership as a way to contribute to positive outcomes and quality for students in higher education who will never have the opportunity to attend the University of Arizona."
        
She also says she's working for DeVry in her free time, in compliance with state policy.
         
But Representative Wheeler says she's taking time for DeVry while she's missing in action in the fight over budget cuts.
 
"The Governor and the majority cut 90 million dollars from the three state universities last year and instead of focusing on her university and trying to address the issues of public education she has taken this job with DeVry which is a for-profit university reliant on American tax dollars, taxpayers' dollars and I think that's really unfortunate."
        
Critics also say the DeVry connection hurts U of A's reputation but Hart says she was hired for her expertise not her job leading U of A.