Arizona Secretary of State - Michele Reagan

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Executive Branch
State Universities and Colleges

INTRODUCTION - Universities

Arizona's public university system consists of three public universities and its tri-university distance learning endeavor.

In 1885, the 13th Territorial Legislative Assembly awarded Tucson the University of Arizona and a $25,000 appropriation. In 1886 the Arizona Board of Regents was created to govern the University of Arizona.

The colleges at Tempe and Flagstaff, forerunners of Arizona State University and Northern Arizona University, did not initially come under the supervision of the Board of Regents. Each college had its own three-member governing board chaired by the superintendent of public instruction. This practice continued after statehood into the 1940s.

On March 12, 1945, Gov. Sidney P. Osborn signed legislation that created a unified Board of Regents. The board met for the first time in June 1945. The authority of the Board of Regents expanded to include the Arizona State Teachers College at Tempe (Arizona State University), and Arizona State Teachers College at Flagstaff (Northern Arizona University).

Arizona State University ~ Home of the Sun Devils

ASU Mascot
Sparky, ASUs Mascot
Sparky the Sun Devil
ASU Administration 2011-2012 About ASU
President's Office History
Contact Information Become a Student
Key Staff Alumni
  Past ASU Presidents

Northern Arizona University ~ Home of the Lumberjacks

NAU Mascot
NAUs Louie the Lumberjack
Louie the Lumberjack
NAU Administration 2011-2012 About NAU
President's Office History
Contact Information Become a Student
Key Staff Alumni
  Past NAU Presidents

University of Arizona ~ Home of the Wildcats

UA Mascot
Wildcat UAs Mascot
Wilbur Wildcat
UA Administration 2011-2012 About UA
President's Office History
Contact Information Become a Student
Key Staff Alumni
  Past UA Presidents

INTRODUCTION - State Colleges

The Arizona Legislature appropriated funds for a study committee to survey the higher education needs of the state in 1958.
About a year later the committee recommended the establishment of a state junior college system to assist the universities and state colleges to provide educational opportunities to the growing population.
Laws to establish Arizona Community College Districts can be found in Arizona Revised Statutes, Title 15 Education, Chapter 12, Articles 1-5.

Visit the Arizona State Legislature Web page at; or visit your local library to review the laws.

In 1960, the Legislature authorized the State Board of Directors for Junior Colleges and enacted legislation to create junior college districts supported by county and state funds.

In 1971, the Legislature amended the law to change junior colleges to community colleges.

State Board of Directors for Community College rules were on file with the secretary of state in Title 7, Ch. 1 but these rules subsequently expired July 1, 2003, under a law passed by the 45th Legislature, Second Regular Session in 2002.

Laws 2002, Ch. 330, § 58 (HB 2710) transferred the duties of the State Board of Directors for Community Colleges to each County Board of Supervisors with a community college district.

The Board of Supervisors shall establish in the same manner as provided in A.R.S. § 16-411 five precincts in a community college district for the election of a district board member from each precinct (A.R.S.§ 15-1441).


State Colleges
Arizona Community Colleges  

Arizona Western College

Central Arizona College

Cochise College

Coconino Community College

Diné College

Eastern Arizona College

Maricopa Community College District

Mohave Community College

Northland Pioneer College

Pima Community College

Tohono O'odham Community College

Yavapai College