Northern Arizona University President Rita Cheng has been appointed by Gov. Doug Ducey to serve on the Arizona State Board of Education, a selection that was confirmed today by the Legislature. The president will represent all three public Arizona universities in the role.

“I am honored to join the board as I am committed to ensuring all students have access to high quality educational opportunities,” said Cheng. “Every student should graduate high school with the necessary skills to be successful in college and in their career. We must set that expectation, hold our systems accountable and provide students and their families with the tools to make informed decisions.”

Cheng said she “looks forward to joining leaders from across the state in this important work that benefits all Arizona residents.”

NAU’s longstanding commitment to educational quality stems from its history as a teachers college. The university continues to produce alumni who are outstanding teachers and educational leaders, as recognized through the Rodel Exemplary Teachers and Principals initiatives, said Cheng. 

The university engages in multiple projects and centers in support of K12 educational programming for future and current teachers and educational leaders, such as resources at the Arizona K12 Center and NAU’s Center for Science Teaching and Learning. NAU also offers educational support services that contribute to student preparedness, including Arizona GEARUP, TRiO and statewide college-bound outreach programs.

The Arizona State Board of Education’s mission is to set policies that foster excellence in public education. The primary powers and duties of the board are articulated in A.R.S. § 15-203.