President Cheng speaks to House committee

President Cheng and student interns

NAU President Rita Cheng presented to members of the Arizona House of Representatives Government and Higher Education Committee this week in Phoenix. The standing committee is chaired by Flagstaff Rep. Bob Thorpe.

Cheng discussed NAU’s fiscal status and policy initiatives, outlining the changes in state appropriations over the last seven years.

“In 2008, state appropriations comprised 40 percent of our operating budget, and tuition and fees represented about 25 percent. Today those numbers are more than reversed,” she said.

The president said the state’s budget decisions are critical to NAU as it looks to meet workforce needs and positively impact the economic vitality of the region and state.

Cheng also visited with four Lumberjacks currently in the Arizona Legislative Internship program at the capitol. The program provides undergraduate and graduate students the opportunity to work with the State Senate, House of Representatives, Governor’s Office and the Arizona Supreme Court. Undergraduates Bryanna McDaniel and Alexandria Saquella are interning with the Senate, Shirley Springer is interning with the House of Representatives and Tyler Thorp is placed with the Arizona Supreme Court.