Notes from the President: Dec. 1, 2022

Dear Lumberjacks,

I hope you have all had a restful Thanksgiving break. As we return to regular business this week, the end of the semester is just a few short weeks away. Here are my updates since I last wrote on Nov. 17:

  • Following a productive meeting with the Arizona Board of Regents on Thursday and Friday, I traveled to Yuma to join members of our NAU-YUMA Alumni chapter, community members, leaders from Chicanos Por La Causa and NAU students to celebrate the launch of the NAU-CPLC scholarship. Our thanks to the passionate supporters and advocates for access to higher education at CPLC—we are excited to continue our partnership together.
  • On Saturday, as I travelled back to Flagstaff, I anxiously tuned in to the NCAA cross country national championship races for men and women. What a day! Our women’s team recorded a fantastic sixth place in the team competition, and our men won the Division I team championship in exhilarating fashion for the sixth time in the last seven years! Congratulations to coach Mike Smith and his team, along with our exceptional student-athletes for all they have achieved as they proudly represent NAU on the national stage.
  • Over Thanksgiving week, I enjoyed some quieter days, with fewer meetings and more time to reflect on our progress to date, attend to ongoing projects and begin charting more concrete plans for the work ahead in 2023.
  • This week, I have paused on previously planned travel to Washington, D.C., but NAU has been well-represented by students and university leaders in engaging in the important work of advocating for Congress to protect Dreamers.
  • At the same time, Provost Karen Pugliesi has been in Panama with a delegation of university leaders and members of ABOR forging new partnerships and connections with Panamanian universities that will expand the boundaries and opportunities for NAU students and faculty.

I want to take a moment at the conclusion of my notes to share that in the midst of this positive work, it has certainly been a week filled with somber reflections for me and so many others in our Lumberjack community. Together, we grieve the loss of Dr. Yeon-Su Kim, who tragically passed away last week. We continue to send our thoughts to her family and friends, especially as the search for her husband continues. In today’s Review, I encourage you to read the story highlighting Yeon-Su’s work that had been scheduled for publication before her passing and highlights just how passionate and engaged she has been as part of our Lumberjack community. We will cherish her memory and celebrate her life, achievements and contributions.


José Luis Cruz Rivera


NAU Communications