The Arizona Board of Regents granted NAU approval to revise its cost for constructing a new research building at NAU-Yuma from $4 million to $6.5 million.

The $2.5 million adjustment will accommodate increasing the size of the building from a proposed 10,000 square feet to 12,225 square feet. The building will expand collaborative research opportunities in environmental disciplines and will accommodate expansion of NAU four-year degree programs in engineering and nursing. The project is being funded through previously allocated research infrastructure funds from the Legislature.

The research building will complement a new agricultural sciences building being built on the Arizona Western College campus.

“The research building is a critical part of our desire to grow in Yuma,” said NAU President John Haeger, who anticipates breaking ground on the facility in the spring. Haeger noted that NAU and AWC will celebrate a 20-year partnership next month.

In related action, the regents approved four new projects as part of NAU’s capital development plan, which allows the university to start planning for future projects. These include:

  • the recreation and wellness expansion projects that are part of a multiyear student fee
  • a new facility for Distance Learning adjacent to the School of Communication
  • a warehouse for Residence Life
  • replacement turf for the Skydome

The regents also established a task force on tuition at its meeting Jan. 24-25 in Tucson. The task force will explore the board’s tuition-setting policies, practices and other issues related to student affordability to develop recommendations for board consideration. A goal of the task force will be to connect policy decisions related to state appropriations, financial aid and tuition and fees.

In other action, the regents approved a resolution supporting Gov. Janet Napolitano’s budget recommendations to advance education in Arizona.

During the two-day meeting, the regents received reports from each university on intercollegiate athletics. Highlights for 2006-07 in the NAU report included:

  • Student-athletes maintained a cumulative GPA of 3.05.
  • NAU captured its eighth men’s All-Sports Trophy.
  • Lumberjacks claimed the men’s outdoor track and field championship.
  • Student-athletes contributed more than 4,200 hours of community service.

The regents also received reports from the universities on campus security. David Bousquet, NAU vice president for Enrollment Management and Student Affairs, outlined campus health services, employment-related and wellness services available to faculty and staff, residence hall security, methods of communicating emergencies on campus and NAU’s annual safety walk and lighting survey.