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Arizona Board of Regents file to dismiss attorney general’s lawsuit

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PHOENIX — The Arizona Board of Regents filed motions to dismiss a lawsuit brought by the state Attorney General’s Office over tuition hikes at its three universities.

Board officials said in a statement Thursday that the complaint was “factually and legally flawed.”

Attorney General Mark Brnovich filed the suit in September, describing the tuition increase at the three public universities — over 300 percent — as dramatic and unconstitutional.

“Since the lawsuit was filed, the board has engaged in good-faith discussions about this important issue with little progress and
therefore, has little recourse but to file motions to dismiss,” board Chairman Bill Ridenour said in a statement.

Regents approved tuition increases at Arizona State University, Northern Arizona University and University of Arizona in April. Tuition and fees increased by 1.4 percent at ASU, 3.9 percent at the UA and 2.7 percent at NAU.

“There is just something – I’m not an economist, I’m not an educator – but there is something fundamentally wrong with a system where you have to go in hock in order to be able to send your kid to college,” he told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Bruce St. James and Pamela Hughes days after the suit was filed.

Cuts in state funding have contributed to the jump in tuition.

“The board shares the Attorney General’s concerns about the challenges of funding public higher education and remains open to discussion about our mutual concerns,” Ridenour said in the statement.

“However, the board believes this lawsuit is unfounded.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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