Each academic year brings excitement and new possibilities. As you are aware, times are challenging in higher education, yet Northern Arizona University should lead the way in addressing these challenges by promoting student success and adaptive skills in a changing world. Only through academic excellence, quality research and financial well-being are we able to meet student, parent and citizen expectations.
State appropriations play a major role in our future, yet we must assume that the decline in state funding is permanent. Our government, perhaps society in general, now seems to feel that students themselves must pay for education—that education is not a public good that should receive state support. As a result, we are looking to our faculty, academic administrators and staff to initiate the strategies necessary for a sustainable higher educational experience. The challenge is to reduce inefficiencies and embrace changes to our business process.
We should start by reviewing tenure density, technology innovations and the freshman and sophomore experience. We also must discuss curriculum reform, particularly reducing the size of majors and the number of electives.
All faculty and staff—from northern Arizona to Yuma—should be proud of the university’s accomplishments and its standing. Enrollment is increasing beyond our expectations. We are introducing important new initiatives for student success and have been reviewing our budget to allow us to progress in many areas while still offering some market salary adjustments for faculty and staff.
Northern Arizona University remains a successful, growing institution. Now we begin our efforts to ensure we remain sustainable.
Together we will meet these challenges.
Thank you for your support.