Arizona gives $115 million to public universities for COVID-19 response

Gov. Doug Ducey announced today in a press release that Arizona will allocate $115 million in CARES Act funding to its three public universities to help them respond to COVID-19. The state is giving $46 million to Arizona State University (ASU), $46 million to the University of Arizona (UA) and $23 million to Northern Arizona University (NAU).

The funding aims to reimburse costs the universities shouldered by playing an “instrumental” role in the state’s COVID-19 response, according to Ducey.


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“Our universities continue to go the extra mile to fight the spread of COVID-19, protect our communities, and ensure students’ needs are met,” said Ducey. “The innovation and perseverance of our universities have resulted in testing with quick results, additional PPE for health care workers, enhanced contact tracing, tests to detect antibodies, and much more. I’m grateful to the students, faculty, researchers and leadership at Arizona State University, the University of Arizona, and Northern Arizona University for their hard work and dedication to fighting the spread of the virus.” 

This announcement comes after Ducey allocated $14 million in state funds to the universities’ COVID-19 response in September. In total, the state has provided more than $69 million to ASU, more than $53 million to UA and more than $24 million to NAU as pandemic response funding.

ASU considers this funding to be highly beneficial, expressing gratitude in a statement 

“The university is very grateful for Governor Ducey’s decision to allocate $46 million through the CARES Act to reimburse a portion of ASU’s COVID-related costs. Among these costs are expenditures for public health and safety employees, isolation and quarantine management, student COVID-19 testing, and IT enhancements and the transition to ASU Sync, the university’s technology-enabled flexible learning modality. These costs are consistent with guidance from the U.S. Department of Treasury regarding the use of CARES Act assistance, and the funds helped the university continue to provide a learning and teaching environment that enabled students to continue their studies and stay on track toward graduation.”

These universities have provided critical assistance to state students through testing and mitigation efforts, increased distance learning, student outreach and furlough prevention, according to the press release. In April, the state partnered with UA to give antibody tests to 250,000 health professionals and first responders.