Notes from the President: April 6, 2023

Dear Lumberjacks,

After returning from D.C. last week, I enjoyed a couple of quieter days before a packed week to start off April in style in Flagstaff. As we enter the homestretch of the spring semester, I am looking forward to the energy and traditions of springtime, including several celebratory events in the weeks ahead honoring our students and the achievements of our faculty and staff. Below are my notes from the past few days.

  • On Thursday and Friday, I set aside much of my time to strategize and plan for the end of the semester, taking stock of accomplishments registered, work ahead, and partnerships forged over the last few months. As we approach the end of the academic year, I expect to be able to share in greater depth the good work undertaken by the university across many fronts to advance our vision to deliver equitable postsecondary value to the diverse students we serve and the communities they represent.
  • With snow receding over the weekend (finally!), the week started off bright with a great meeting with our partners at Arizona Public Service (APS) to discuss collaborative opportunities ranging from student internships to shared goals around sustainability. I look forward to what will surely be great work ahead between NAU and APS.
  • I joined several other meetings with my team throughout the day that featured discussions about our Lumberjack Athletics initiatives, brand positioning for the university, and more.
  • Yesterday, as we celebrated increasingly springlike weather, I joined a broad group from our NAU community at Encuentro NAU: A Symposium, a Teach-in and a Celebration of Latinidad. It was an honor to give the welcome at this important event, which served as a forum for discussion, learning, reflection, and growth around how NAU’s diverse community can work together to best advance our collective efforts as a Hispanic-Serving Institution.
  • While I would have loved to spend the entire day at the forum, other commitments called, and I joined several internal meetings before closing out the day with a visit to the Encuentro celebration, filled with dancing and great music by the talented students of Banda Latino Caribeña.

Today holds several meetings and interviews with media, and next week will be punctuated by our Gold Axe, Distinguished Senior, and President’s Prize Ceremony, as well as our Diversity and Equity Awards Celebrations—both events that bring us together to celebrate the phenomenal work of our Lumberjacks in elevating excellence through all they do at NAU.

Until next time, I hope you have a great spring weekend!


José Luis Cruz Rivera

NAU Communications