Jan Brewer Appoints Jay Heiler to Board of Regents. Dems Not Happy

Categories: Higher Learning
heiler.jpg
www.panameducation.com
Jay Heiler, the most recent addition to the Arizona Board of Regents.
Governor Jan Brewer announced yesterday that she's appointed Valley PR honcho/charter school advocate Jay Heiler to the Arizona Board of Regents to replace outgoing ABOR Chairman Fred DuVal.

Heiler's education background includes work with the Great Hearts Academies, a network of charter prep schools in Phoenix, and he serves as President of the Board of Directors for the Arizona Charter Schools Association.

See some of New Times' past coverage of Heiler here and here -- it's not pretty.


"Jay's extensive leadership in education, business, government and strategic planning makes him uniquely-qualified to serve in this role helping direct the future of higher education in Arizona," Brewer says in a prepared statement. "As founder and chairman of the Board of the Great Hearts Academies, he has hands-on experience helping our children reach their academic potential. His inspiration and creativity will be needed now more than ever as Arizona searches for ways to maximize the state's investment in higher education by improving its quality and broadening its reach."

Democrats aren't quite as impressed with Heiler -- who also served as chief of staff to indicted former Republican Governor Fife Symington, and recently served as communications director for Congressman Ben Quayle's Congressional campaign --as Brewer is.

Dems reference a 1993 New Times article about Heiler's rise from the newsroom at Arizona State University's State Press newspaper to becoming a powerful Arizona politico.

From our article:

The daily campus newspaper, the State Press, was doing little to discourage ASU's image. It was controlled by a few students who had dubbed themselves The Force. For the most part, no one paid much attention--either to the students or the newspaper; the editors tended to spout the liberal musings that had been common to college campuses since the 60s.

At first, few took note of the quiet coup staged at the State Press by Jay Heiler, Matthew Scully and, later, Len Munsil, three postpubescent Reaganites who took it upon themselves to put ASU on the right course--the far right course. By 1985, ASU had established itself nationally as a hothouse for a virulent strain of conservatism that would have made Joe McCarthy smile.

With blitzkrieg swiftness, Heiler, Munsil and Scully succeeded in making ASU famous for something other than football, keggers and righteous tans.

As editor of the State Press, Munsil refused to print meeting notices for the ASU gay and lesbian union. As a student senator, former editor Heiler supported a move that cut funding to student groups whose agendas were seen as unsavory. And columnist Scully helped to launch a national hate movement against a professor whose views he found objectionable.

According to Arizona Democrats, Heiler's appointment raises "serious concerns." They say "Heiler sought to alienate his audience instead of building an environment of tolerance and academic freedom. His statements in the past that gays and lesbians are 'queer' and an "aberration" are inappropriate for someone about to represent GLBT students on important issues such as discrimination and bullying."

Arizona Dems also cite Heiler's ties to Symington and an editorial he recently wrote declaring "war against our tribal communities."

See Heiler's editorial here.

"With so many qualified and respected people in our community who could have been chosen, Governor Brewer made a serious error in judgment selecting a crony with a demonstrated history of controversial statements," Luis Heredia, Arizona Democratic Party executive director, says. "Given Mr. Heiler's history, the public deserves to know if Mr. Heiler's attitudes toward the GLBT community have changed, or his thoughts on how tribal communities have invested their revenues in college scholarships."
My Voice Nation Help
22 comments
ExpertShot
ExpertShot topcommenter

Now this pig is at the center of the movement to suspend the payments to the student groups on campus.  This was a main agenda of his when he was a student at ASU - BTW - I demand to see his transcripts - I heard he almost failed to graduate and was given a dispensation because of his political ties.

elHombre
elHombre

Swell. The bloated, overpriced universities are about to drive students farther into debt; Brewer appoints somebody who might know something about education and be troubled by government sponsored, spiraling costs and the New Times gives us 18 year-old articles and a spate of anti-religious, pro-LGBT bigotry in the comments.

Brilliant! Fish wrapping at its finest.

Go There
Go There

GED Jan reminds me of an old Chris Rock routine, "You smoke crack and you'll never amount to anything... I can be Mayor in a reference to Marion Barry." The same logic, drop out of high school and you'll never amount to anything...... I can be Governor.

Alum-inium
Alum-inium

I was a student at ASU and a writer for the State Press during the Heiler/Munsil/Scully years. I am not surprised at all that the three of them have not devolved into obscurity. Seriously. You've done a pretty good job over the years covering their individual careers after ASU. And the ins and outs of the machinations. 

My favorite memory of my time at the State Press has nothing to do with any stories written.  Maria Khan went off to interview Hunter S. Thompson and never came back. Who knows where I could be if I had been given that assignment.

Worst memory? The overuse of the psychiatric drug Nardil, an MAO inhibitor that one of the school's psychiatrists was prescribing to students and athletes. His wideranging, and in my humble opinion, indiscriminate prescribing practices reeked of using the student body as a hothouse for his research. Students were reeling with side effects. MAO inhibitors can have serious and deadly consequences when taken in combination with many ordinary things. And students are not exactly the best 'control population' for such 'experiments.' Regarding the Nardil story, only a few people put two and two together. The State Press had that story long before it made Time Magazine and other national news outlets, and in their stories it focused mainly on raising huge red flags concerning the athletic program and the use of strong psychiatric drugs to improve performance. In many of the national stories, the overprescribing to the general student body was overlooked - but was a very vital part of what went on and what was missed.

During those times, Investigative stories were not exactly an 'embrace-able' commodity in an environment of telling people what to think rather than asking hard questions. I still regret the fact that I didn't push harder for the newspaper to dig deeper into the MAO inhibitor story even if it meant that it might ruffle a few administrative feathers.

Reggie VV
Reggie VV

Just more crony, retread appointments, centered on the Scottsdale elite, (regardless of wher he might actually hang his hat) and ignoring the rest of the State.  I'm stunned he is not a former legislator.  Brewer is all hat and no cattle.

shadeaux14
shadeaux14

"Governor Brewer made a serious error in judgment"

This was no error in judgement, this is the kind of person the MORmON theocracy controlling this state loves to put in positions of authority. He has all the qualities they look for;Bigotry, dishonesty, fear, malignant narcissism, sociopathy, fear, fear, delusions of grandeur, and, toss in a dash of sexual hanky-panky(me thinks he doth protest gays too much), oh, and did I mention fear.

Alum-inium
Alum-inium

OK, how's this? Jay Heiler dressed in an alien, tin foil suit while Gov. Fyfe Symington jokes with the press about the "Phoenix Lights" and then years later tells the press that he actually saw the Phoenix Lights and shouldn't have mocked the people who saw them. Is that more recent news for you?

Jay Heiler on the board of regents will be able to continue the same agenda he espoused at ASU and continues to espouse to this day. He won't go after spiraling costs; he'll go after professors and anyone else who doesn't toady up to his long-held ultra conservative, snarky, back alley 'my way or the highway' views that remain unchanged to this day.

Anti-religious? C'mon, even you have to laugh at that comment. Catholicism may have conservative views on some things, but on the whole, Heiler runs directly opposite of what the Catholic Church has always stood for when it comes to the poor and disenfranchised. One can cherry pick and 'cafeteria-ize' any religion.

It should bother you more, if you want recent news on Heiler, that he was a key employee of photo enforcement vendor Redflex Traffic Systems and sold a shitload of them to your fair city. How'd those babies work out? Interesting that that reference seems to 'disappear' and we are supposed to embrace his sudden 'knowledge' on higher education.

"Agenda" on higher education is more like it. Tucson is in his crosshairs already. Just wait and see. I can remember the editorial reference back then to the U of A's newspaper "The Wire Cat" instead of The Wildcat.

LGBT 'agenda' was Munsil's little pet project.

Padoogle2001
Padoogle2001

Edited to add: "and in their stories" refers to the national media coverage, not any coverage done by the State Press.

ExpertShot
ExpertShot

Heiler is too radical to have been elected, even in a Republican controlled district.  He was always trying to be the force behind more moderate candidates (if you can call that convicted liar and crook Symington "moderate"). 

Tommy Collins
Tommy Collins

Reggie, when she wears her hair in that forty pound beehive she can't wear a hat... she's pretty much just a spewer of mush... like pearce and the rest of that ilk..

shadeaux14
shadeaux14

PLUS................The doofus looks like Howdy-Doody (ask your parents) with an emphasis on the Doody.

elHombre
elHombre

O-o-oh, my goodness.

Did I touch a nerve? Obviously, you too are historically acquainted with Heiler and have an intimate view of his religious and political views and his attitude toward the poor and disenfranchised -- or wait, maybe you are just stereotyping. Add stereotyping conservatives to projecting to Heiler your own intolerance for views that are not your own and, voila, you become a caricature -- not a stereotype, mind you, but a caricature -- of a left-wing extremist.

Btw, my guess would be that Heiler's charitable contributions to the "poor and disenfanchised" dramatically outstrip your own, which guess, unfortunately, causes my comment to fall to the level of yours by becoming speculative and unresponsive. Oh well.

Alum-inium
Alum-inium

After mentioning the Nardil story, I did some research. It is discussed at length in the Barry Bonds biography "Love Me, Hate Me" as well as in Sports Illustrated magazine and others. I feel comfortable now in naming the doctor. James Gough, MD was retained by ASU to help "boost" their ailing baseball and football and athletic programs.

What I've read online and what seems to have been missed is that Gough not only prescribed for athletes, he saw regular students at the Student Health Center. Fuller disclosure: I made an appt. to talk to someone about quitting smoking. Dr. Gough was the doctor who saw me. He presented himself as a school psychiatrist, not a consultant on contract as reported later in the national media. 

He prescribed Nardil to me for smoking cessation. I was an older, nontraditional student who had a background in a previous medical career setting. Despite what he is quoted as saying in Sports Illustrated, he did NOT warn me of the very serious side effects except to say 'don't eat fava beans.' I kid you not. I didn't even know what fava beans were.

This occured in 1982. After leaving the Student Health Center, I went straight to the 'pill book' to see what Nardil was. I was shocked to see that I had been prescribed a serious psychiatric drug for mere smoking cessation. I didn't fill the prescription but it raised huge red flags.

As time went on, I met a number of "regular" students who had been prescribed Nardil by Dr. Gough. Seemed like everywhere I turned, I was hearing of bad reactions from roommates of people taking it and people themselves who were taking it. The story of Dr. Gough and ASU's experimenting on athletes didn't hit the news until 1985. The bigger story of his general student population prescribing has never been covered, to my knowledge, and the statistics of students adversely affected as the ones I met, may never be known.

shadeaux14
shadeaux14

James,

And your point is?

I don't differentiate between mythological systems. Weather  you believe that a man could survive in the gastric juices of a "Big Fish" or you believe that the Apocalypse will occur in St. Joseph Missouri, and you will be "Raptured" up in your temple undies, it's all pretty much delusional to me.

Guest23
Guest23

Not any better in my book.

I dream of a day when the majority of politicians are secular humanists... and living here in Arizona, I know full well it is a pipe dream at this time and probably for a long time to come.

ExpertShot
ExpertShot

He's got teenage girls who would agree with you there!   

ExpertShot
ExpertShot topcommenter

@Alum-inium Did you ever hear of a student group that copied the CIA's recruitment brochure and then substituted one with the TRUTH about the CIA in Central America and other places for them at their recruitment seminar?  The CIA did not come back for 3 years for recruiting there!  Did you hear about that in the New Times?  NO!  Truth is a foreign term to Heiler and his crew.

Alum-inium
Alum-inium

The late ASU baseball coach Jim Brock, as detailed in the Barry Bonds' book "Love Me or Hate Me" was a huge fan of Nardil. His players reported he was often so "mellow" that he'd often fall asleep at games. Barry Bonds' father himself caught wind that Gough and Brock were pushing Nardil on Barry Bonds and Bonds' father communicated directly to Brock that he would have his butt on the line immediately if Brock or Gough dared to try getting Bonds to continue with the Nardil. Bonds was one of the few players whose parents were not afraid to step in to stop it.

ExpertShot
ExpertShot

The cocaine was not prescribed but was being sold to various ASU sports team members (basketball, football and baseball) by associates of the psychiatrists employed by the baseball team.  Remember, it was party - central at ASU in the 1980s.   The lax attitude towards all things to get high with exhibited by the doctors was well-entrenched in the students as well. 

Alum-inum
Alum-inum

What you've stated is what I tried to impress upon the State Press at that time to investigate. I knew nothing of the sports teams' being experimented on but I did know an inordinate number of regular students who were being 'guinea pig'd' and it was just too prevalent and too common to hear of students being prescribed this for it to be just a coincidence. The combination of Nardil and cocaine would have been deadly. I imagine you are implying that the cocaine was being 'prescribed' separately... I wouldn't be surprised at all if they were experimenting with it for ADHD. Ritalin hadn't been on the market that long back them.

I sincerely wish that there were a way to check on the statistics of students falling seriously ill and/or dying either by suicide or adverse reaction during this time. All the focus has been on the athletes and that focus came to light three years after I alerted the State Press as to what was going on. Prior to the 'triumvirate' becoming editors, there was a woman who was editor and when I spoke to her about it, it turned out that her roommate was taking it and having horrible side effects. I pressed on, in fact it was the reason I decided to write for the State Press but stories were tightly controlled and doled out during the triumvirates' years and an investigative story was nigh impossible unless it fit the editors' agenda. I still think that something could be learned about regular students who went through this guinea pig experiment if someone had the time, resources, and inclination to do so.

ExpertShot
ExpertShot

I was also at ASU during this period.  I met one of Dr. Gough's associates and heard the whole story - from the inside.  It, the program of Nardil prescriptions, was specifically designed as a Human Guinea Pig study on those students and other drugs were sold alongside - cocaine in particular.  It was a horrible mess and the doctors involved were even more screwed up mentally than the students.

Now Trending

From the Vault

 

Loading...