Saying he is concerned about Utah's ailing finances and their impact on higher education funding, Utah State University President Stanford Cazier has urged faculty and staff to help elect public officials who are sympathetic to higher education.

In a memo, Cazier invited the faculty and staff to attend mass meetings and party conventions to make their concerns known."Interrogate candidates about their positions, their support for higher education, their understanding of its critical importance to the state, and their willingness to oppose the tax rollback initiatives," the memo urged.

Cazier said he is concerned about the university's continued strength. He said, "the quality of Utah State University is being eroded through inadequate financial support. We can be a great university, but not without a renewed appreciation of the value of this institution to the vitality of the state, region and nation."

The memo outlined efforts being made with the State Board of Regents to formulate a position paper on the pressing needs of higher education over the coming years and the impact of higher education on economic development.

He also said he is working with Taxpayers of Utah, a group of volunteers who support education and will campaign against the tax rollback initiatives.