The start of the fall 2009 school year included a visit by President John Haeger to the NAU-Yuma branch campus on Aug. 25.

Haeger met with NAU-Yuma faculty and staff to provide a budgetary outlook and an update on discussions about potential changes in the Arizona University System architecture. One change, he said, involves NAU’s effort to provide Arizona residents with options to attend regional universities as an alternative to research institutions and NAU-Yuma’s role in the endeavor.

Haeger explained that a regional university—which NAU-Yuma may become—faculty would focus strictly on teaching and there would not be a research component. Research would remain a key mission on the Flagstaff campus. The academic programs offered would be more structured and streamlined and designed to fit the needs of the community.

Haeger expressed his excitement over the progress Yuma faculty and staff have already made in advancing the branch campus and looks forward to future growth.

While in Yuma, Haeger also met with Marc Nigliazzo, the new president of Arizona Western College, NAU-Yuma’s partnering community college.

Wrapping up the visit, Haeger met with community and educational members to discuss issues in higher education and how the NAU-Yuma branch campus can continue to meet the needs of Yuma.