Notes from the President: Feb. 24, 2022

Dear Lumberjacks,

Today, I want to begin by sharing my sincere appreciation for our essential employees who helped manage the impacts of yesterday’s significant snowstorm. Thanks to their dedication, our Flagstaff Mountain Campus is open and operational. Please join me in taking a moment to thank all of our NAU team who contribute so much to our successful operations!

As the sky clears here in Flagstaff and the sun returns in full force, I share my notes from the week past:

  • Last Thursday, I spoke with Telemundo Arizona and local leaders at the Northern Arizona Leadership Alliance about the important new initiatives launching at NAU through our admissions pilot program and new funding. I’m excited about the continued interest in these and, crucially, about the active engagement of our partners who are looking to contribute to attainment in our region and throughout our state, powered by NAU.
  • Friday, I joined Gov. Ducey and many members of our regional community at the Flagstaff Chamber of Commerce’s Athena Awards. Congratulations to all who were honored and thank you to the Chamber for a wonderful event.
  • I also visited our College of Education’s Career Fair, speaking to an audience composed of representatives from more than 80 school districts who are looking to recruit the exceptionally talented educators graduating from NAU’s College of Education. Our longstanding history as a teachers’ college was clear, and I am proud of this area of distinctive excellence and essential service that NAU fills.
  • In between these events, I met with our partners at Pima Community College, our NAU team who is prioritizing student retention and success, and more, before closing the day at the Jacks Big IDEA event, hosted by Boundaryless. I am so impressed by our student teams who competed throughout the weekend, and I’m very excited to hear more about their progress.
  • Following many external engagements, this week has been focused more internally. I have met with some of our researchers, partners, our pricing and positioning team, our teams organizing administrative service delivery and various other internal meetings with members of my cabinet. We have been at a full sprint these past few weeks, and we will not be letting up. As I shared earlier this week, we have exciting and important developments to look forward to with our search for the founding Vice President/Chief Diversity Officer ahead this fall, among other initiatives that are advancing our DIEJ-focused work.
  • While yesterday’s snow threw a wrench into some plans on campus, on Monday I was pleased to celebrate important years-of-service milestones with our faculty and staff and join with the dedicated team at Career Services for a lunch just before the snow hit on Tuesday. The casual conversation was engaging and highlighted the sincere dedication and passion of our Lumberjack staff.
  • Today, I will be chairing a meeting of The Education Trust’s board of directors and speaking with our ASNAU leadership, among other commitments.

Thank you for all you do, thank you again to our essential workers who have done so much these last two days, and here’s to a great remainder of the week!


José Luis Cruz Rivera

NAU Communications