PHOENIX — Arizona’s three public universities could soon create a new class of at-will employees, meaning staff in non-academic positions could be fired at any time.

The controversial proposal could mean less job security beginning July 1 for about 3,000 employees at Arizona State University.

University of Arizona and Northern Arizona University have no immediate plans to create a new employment classification.

That state Board of Regents will consider the proposal at its meeting next month, according to The Arizona Republic.

The Republic reports the proposal states that a new employment classification called “university staff” would be created “for use at the discretion of the university and board presidents.” Employees in this category would be employed “at will and have no expectation of continued employment.”

Service professionals and non-faculty administrators currently are on 12-month contracts and are told by March 31 whether the university intends to employ them for another year, beginning July 1.

Read more in Thursday’s Arizona Daily Star and at