Regents approve first step to restructuring university system

The Arizona Board of Regents today unveiled the Arizona Higher Education Enterprise, a strategic realignment plan designed to drive the state’s universities toward achieving goals set forth in ABOR’s 2020 Vision.

The plan outlines university-specific goals and outcomes to increase the number of baccalaureate degrees earned in the state. Strategies include broadening access throughout Arizona, boosting research for an enhanced student experience and economic benefit, improving retention rates and delivering more efficient pathways through degree programs.

Among Northern Arizona University’s goals are to raise freshmen retention rates from 71 to 85 percent, boost enrollment to 25,000 students at the Flagstaff campus and 15,000 students at extended learning centers and online, and diversify tuition costs and admission standards at regional campuses.

“We have to change the systems and delivery to make universities more accessible to residents,” said NAU President John Haeger. “We can’t build more universities, but we can use what we have by investing in NAU-Yuma type colleges and by continuing to provide seamless partnerships with community colleges.”

The plan positions each of the universities to contribute to producing a skilled workforce that will move Arizona’s economy forward.

“The plan renews our covenant with the people of Arizona to provide broad access for an innovative, world-class university education to all segments of society,” said Regent and ABOR vice chair Fred DuVal.

The strategic realignment plan may be viewed here.