President’s Legislature visit highlights successes, fiscal outlook

President Cheng at House Appropriations

NAU President Rita Cheng highlighted challenges and opportunities related to the university’s budget and fiscal outlook when she spoke to the Arizona House and Senate appropriations committees this week.

Cheng was joined by fellow university presidents Michael Crow and Ann Weaver Hart, and Eileen Klein, president of the Arizona Board of Regents. She expressed appreciation for Gov. Ducey’s budget proposal that supports a new investment in state funding focused on Arizona resident students.”

“As you may know, NAU’s student body is comprised of more Arizona residents than our sister institutions—approximately 70 percent of our students are residents,” Cheng said. “We recognize the need for a student, state and university partnership. Providing a quality investment for a funding model is critical to our future.”

The president said NAU is a leader in resident student enrollment and in low-cost delivery options for students through partnerships with community colleges, online programs and competency-based Personalized Learning degree paths.

Cheng outlined actions taken at NAU in response to last year’s $17 million budget reduction, including streamlining operations and concentrating Extended Campuses outreach efforts into regional sites. She noted that NAU has put necessary projects, including an engineering lab expansion, on hold due to budget constraints.

Cheng’s statement on the governor’s budget proposal is available here.