The Arizona Board of Regents wants the Legislature to have the state borrow $1 billion to pay for building new laboratories and other facilities in hopes of double the research grant funding pulled in by the three universities.
The Arizona Republic said that the proposed bond package is part of the board's wish-list for the 2014 legislative session.
Bonds are IOUs sold to investors who provide up-front cash in exchange for gradual paybacks that include interest.
Regents said boosting the universities' programs would help diversify and expand the state's economy.
Under the proposal, the University of Arizona would get $450 million while Arizona State University would get $400 million and Northern Arizona University would get $150 million.