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DuVal returning to Board of Regents; appointed by former foe Ducey

Fred DuVal, a former regent who ran against Doug Ducey in the 2014 gubernatorial election, has been appointed by his ex-rival to the body that oversees Arizona's public university system.

DuVal, a Tucson High graduate who attended the University of Arizona, will take the seat being vacated by Rick Myers, a Tucsonan appointed by Gov. Jan Brewer in 2010.

Gov. Ducey, a Republican who handily bested the Democrat to gain office four years ago, named DuVal to an eight-year term on the Arizona Board of Regents on Monday morning.

DuVal was previously appointed to the regents in 2006, when Gov. Janet Napolitano appointed him to fill a seat that had been temporarily filled by Tucson Medical Center exec Jack Jewett, who stayed on ABOR for about nine months after his own term ended to hold the seat of Lorraine Frank, who died in December 2005.

DuVal served as chairman of ABOR in 2011.

While most regents are Phoenix-area power players, historically Arizona governors have appointed at least one Southern Arizona resident to represent the University of Arizona on the board. DuVal has spent most of his business career in the Valley, but has maintained strong Tucson connections. His wife, Jennifer Hecker DuVal, is the daughter of prominent Tucson attorney Larry Hecker.

Also serving on ABOR — and holding the chairman's gavel this year — is Ron Shoopman, former president of the Southern Arizona Leadership Council.

"In Arizona, we know how to work together, across party lines, put aside our differences and get positive things done for the people we serve. Few individuals have a better record and history of doing that than Fred DuVal," Ducey said in a news release. "Fred is a remarkable leader who brings with him immeasurable higher education experience and knowledge through his long-standing involvement with the University of Arizona. As a champion of both business and community leadership, Fred knows first-hand how to work in a collaborative spirit to increase high-quality affordable postsecondary opportunities and prepare students for our state’s 21st-century workforce."

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"I want to thank Gov. Ducey for his spirit of bipartisanship," DuVal said in the release. "I look forward to using my previous policy experience as a regent to make a significant impact on our state’s workforce needs and economic development and to make college more affordable for all students. And as I take on this important role again, I look forward to collaborating with Gov. Ducey on the full-scale expansion of the Teachers Academy at our three public universities."

The Board of Regents oversees Arizona's three public universities — the University of Arizona, Arizona State University and Northern Arizona University — by hiring university presidents and other top staff, and setting tuition rates.

DuVal has been a longtime player in Democratic politics. Hmanaged the gubernatorial and presidential campaigns of Bruce Babbitt (1978 and 1988), and served two terms of the Democratic National Committee. He was deputy chief of protocol and then deputy director of intergovernmental affairs in the Clinton White House, with a stint as deputy campaign manager for Clinton-Gore in 1996.

While having been a winning campaign manager, DuVal didn't fair so well in his own attempts at elective office. He lost a U.S. House bid in a seven-candidate primary in Arizona's rural central/northern CD1 in 2002. In 2014, Ducey won by 12 points following a race in which the Republican Party blasted DuVal's performance as a regent, calling him a "big spending liberal Democrat" who "attempts to dodge the truth."

DuVal was one of the founders of the centrist Democratic Leadership Council in the mid-1980s, and helped found the National Institute for Civil Discourse after the Jan. 8, 2011 shootings.

DuVal was a vice president with Clean Energy Fuels, a company chaired by Texas businessman T. Boone Pickens that promotes natural gas as a transportation fuel, as well as wind power.

Ducey paid respects to Myers, whose term is ending, in his release.

"I'd also like to express my sincere appreciation to Regent Rick Myers for his years of service," said Ducey. "His wealth of knowledge and insight as a businessman and as a community leader was an asset to the Arizona Board of Regents during the most crippling economic downturn of our state's history. His innovative approach to transformational change led the public university system into a period of unprecedented growth in postsecondary attainment and productivity."

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Governor's Office

Ducey and DuVal