NAU President Rita Cheng and Navajo Nation President Russell Begaye

NAU President Rita Cheng met with Navajo Nation President Russell Begaye in Window Rock on July 20.

NAU President Rita Cheng visited Window Rock this week to meet with Navajo Nation President Russell Begaye, Vice President Jonathan Nez and Speaker LoRenzo Bates.

Cheng also addressed delegates during a full tribal council meeting, highlighting NAU’s student support services, outreach efforts and opportunities for partnership between the university and Navajo Nation.

“In a time of budget cutbacks, NAU’s deep historic commitment to Native American students will remain constant,” she said. “I am heartened by the tremendous efforts and commitment of our faculty and staff, and we are looking at existing services to ensure we are taking a comprehensive, interconnected approach to student success.”

Cheng shared that NAU tops the list among all four-year public institutions in graduating Native American students with master’s degrees, is third highest in enrollment at the graduate level and is 12th for overall enrollment nationwide. She also discussed existing partnerships between the university and Navajo Nation, including workforce development with NAU’s Institute for Tribal Environmental Professionals and leadership training and certificate programs.