Notes from the President: Sept. 8, 2022

Dear Lumberjacks,

The fall semester is in full spring and following the Labor Day holiday, we are all returning to the regular rhythm of the academic year. That includes a resumption of “notes” on a weekly basis. Below are my updates from the last week, picking up on Thursday in Tempe:

  • I spent much of the day meeting with Regents Distinguished President Michael Crow and his team at ASU, taking a deep dive into their work and discussing how NAU can be a collaborator and partner in advancing educational attainment goals for all Arizonans. It was a privilege, and I’m grateful for the detail and hospitality shown by our Sun Devil colleagues.
  • In the afternoon, as the sun set, I joined a fantastic group of NAU supporters for a pre-game tailgate and then headed to Sun Devil Stadium for NAU’s opening football game of the 2022 season. While we didn’t quite recapture the glory of last year’s historic upset in Tucson, I’m proud of the team and energized by our community of supporters in the valley whose Lumberjack pride was on full display.
  • Friday was back to Flagstaff with time carved out to plan and prepare for a busy month ahead, which will culminate in NAU’s hosting of the Board of Regents and the Installation ceremonies and associated events.
  • Over the holiday weekend, NAU’s cross country teams started the season strong, with dominant wins here in Buffalo Park. My family and I continue to enjoy the magnificent beauty of northern Arizona and am still awestruck from a visit to Antelope Canyon.
  • On Monday, I was back on the road, this time headed to Salt Lake City to meet with the Big Sky Presidents’ Council for a two-day deep-dive strategic planning session and orientation for myself and Eastern Washington University President Shari McMahan (a colleague in years past at California State University-Fullerton).
  • Before things got underway with Big Sky on Tuesday, I met virtually with executive leaders of The Education Trust’s management team and board of directors to address important organizational issues that will strengthen the critical research and advocacy work ahead.
  • Yesterday, as Big Sky meetings wrapped up and I returned to Flagstaff, I found some time in the airport to connect with members of my team to prepare for the next few days.

I’m looking forward to a full slate of campus engagements on Friday and a restful weekend in Flagstaff before launching into what will be a very busy September.


José Luis Cruz Rivera

NAU Communications