Cabinet Highlights: Aug. 26, 2013

Jill Briggs, president and CEO of the United Way of Northern Arizona, was invited to the President’s Cabinet to discuss opportunities for NAU faculty, staff and students. Briggs highlighted the organization’s emphasis on education, including potential partnerships with the university. She specifically mentioned VITA, the United Way’s income tax assistance program, which may be a good fit for NAU. The United Way annual campaign kickoff is scheduled for Sept. 5.

The Strategic Planning Council has been collecting feedback on the 2013 strategic plan revision, and Eva Putzova, planning and policy analyst, presented some of the themes resulting from the sessions. The themes included employee relations (training and professional development, evaluation process); research as a separate strategic goal; civic engagement and citizenship; diversity; effective use of technology; learning outcomes; and quality of education and the perception of quality. A work group will review the feedback and revise the strategic plan.

Pat Haeuser, vice president for Planning and Institutional Effectiveness, said she expects a “relatively good year” for NAU’s budget. Tuition growth and parity funding should help the budget outlook. Performance funding is still up in the air, she said.

President John Haeger said negotiations are under way among NAU, the Arizona Board of Regents and the other state universities regarding distribution of potential research funding that may be allotted by the state Legislature. The upcoming ABOR meeting, Sept. 26 and 27 in Flagstaff, will feature several presentations by NAU administrators. The regents’ invitation-only dinner will be held in the Native American Cultural Center.

David Bousquet, senior vice president for Enrollment Management and Student Affairs, said he expects Flagstaff enrollment to be up this semester and may reach 19,000 students for the academic year. Fred Hurst, senior vice president for Extended Campuses, said enrollment is down for distance sites and flat for online. Official enrollment numbers will be available 21 days after the first day of classes.

Several summertime construction projects are nearing completion, said John Morris, associate vice president for Facility Services, and construction of the new science and health building is under way. Notable among the nearly completed projects are the relocated Starbucks and the new convenience market/pizzeria on the east side of the University Union.