Increased media coverage of the state’s economic condition has prompted NAU President John Haeger to reinforce his targeted approach to the likelihood of budget cuts.

The university has begun planning for what could be a significant budget reduction this year, but Haeger said the emphasis is on strategic as opposed to wholesale cuts.

“We will be very measured and intentional in looking at potential budget cuts at the university,” Haeger said. “Our students, faculty and staff remain the top priority as we preserve the learning, teaching and research environment of this institution.

“We are preparing for what appears to be additional budget cuts this year by scrutinizing the budget and identifying specific areas throughout the university where we can further reduce expenses and realize savings.”

The university will assess all its resources and activities before ever proposing to eliminate positions, he said.

NAU already has weathered a $7.8 million budget reduction this year. Haeger will meet with academic and administrative leaders on Nov. 15 to address potential cuts. He has scheduled a campus-wide discussion for Dec. 1 to address the university’s budget.

“Another budget cut will mean sacrifices,” Haeger acknowledged. “But my sense is that this campus is committed to working together to make those difficult decisions and keeping the university on the right track through this economic difficulty.”