Cabinet Highlights: Sept. 17, 2012

Grand opening scheduled for biomedical center

The grand opening celebration for the Phoenix Biomedical Center is scheduled for Oct. 5. With the Arizona Board of Regents focused on programming and research in the health care field, NAU is receiving a lot of support for its role in the downtown center, according NAU President John Haeger. Discussions and plans are under way to increase private funding and expanding programs.

Executive Vice President MJ McMahon led a recent discussion among community officials and residents and NAU representatives. The idea behind the “It’s Our Town” meeting was to improve communication and cooperation between NAU and the community. McMahon says she will conduct regular meetings and hopes to create an overarching committee that would share information, including pairing volunteers with projects.

NAU will be making a state operating budget request of more than $31.7 million for FY14, said Pat Haeuser, vice president for Planning and Institutional Effectiveness. The request will include an $11.7 million base increase for performance and parity funding as well as $5 million in one-time funding for instructional innovation and $15 million one-time funding for fire, life safety.

Gov. Jan Brewer was scheduled to visit the Lumberjack Mathematics Center for a ceremonial ribbon cutting on Thursday, said Christy Farley, vice president for Government Affairs and Business Partnerships. It is hoped the governor remains committed to using technology to improve the undergraduate learning experience, Farley said.

Agnes Drogi, director in Facility Services, presented an update of campus projects. Many of the major projects on campus are complete or near completion, while others are getting under way. The Science and Health building is in the design-cost only phase, and the Skydome is in the design phase of renovations to the third floor mezzanine.

New software will soon be employed to schedule events on campus, said David Bousquet, senior vice president for Enrollment Management and Student Affairs. A committee also is developing a three-way fee schedule for campus auditoriums, which will include rates for students, internal (and non-profits) and external use. Bousquet also announced that Parking Services will be using a consultant to study parking, rates and the university’s transportation system.