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University presidents questioned on spending

Tom Anderes, president of the Arizona Board of Regents; Michael M. Crow, president of Arizona State University; Robert N. Shelton, president of the University of Arizona; and John D. Haeger, president of Northern Arizona University. (Cronkite News Service Photo by Lauren Gambino)

Waiting to address the House Committee on Higher Education, Innovation and Reform are (from left): Tom Anderes, president of the Arizona Board of Regents; Michael M. Crow, president of Arizona State University; Robert N. Shelton, president of the University of Arizona; and John D. Haeger, president of Northern Arizona University. (Cronkite News Service Photo by Lauren Gambino)

State budget writers want to know why universities can’t handle budget cuts now that they are taking in more money than they were three years ago.

The Arizona Republic reports Gov. Jan. Brewer has proposed a 37 percent reduction in state spending on universities or about $170 million for fiscal year 2012.

House Appropriations Committee Chairman John Kavanagh says state universities have $595 million more in revenue now than they did before the bad economic times hit.

Kavanagh says the universities should have no problem accepting budget cuts.

Arizona State University President Michael Crow says much of the money is dedicated to specific areas like dormitories and grants and can’t be used for general operations.

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