Regents approve university budget requests


The Arizona Board of Regents approved the FY14 annual operating budgets for the three state universities at its regular meeting yesterday at the High Country Conference Center in Flagstaff.

Northern Arizona University President John Haeger reported there were four guiding considerations in preparing NAU’s budget request, which is an increase of about $20 million over FY13. He pointed to the needs for more effectively using technology across campus; diversifying the enrollment mix with more international and out-of-state students, which he said “contributes to a much better learning community”; greater reliance on university enterprises to supplement state appropriation and tuition; and diversifying academic programming to meet state needs and to reduce subsidies.

NAU President John Haeger updated the regents on the recently accredited competency-based Personalized Learning program, which began accepting students in May.

Also during the meeting, Haeger brought the regents up to date on NAU’s launch of Personalized Learning, an online competency-based program that began accepting students in late May. Bachelor’s degrees are available in small business administration, computer information technology and liberal arts.

“It is, for all intents and purposes, a new division of the university,” Haeger said. “Essentially what Personalized Learning does is tailor an undergraduate degree to a particular student.”

ABOR President Eileen Klein reported on progress made on key initiatives and operations since taking office in February. She highlighted work on the Enterprise Plan that differentiates between the three universities and pursues the “best path for type of institution they are.” She also addressed the goal of better acquainting the public on what the ABOR mission is as an enterprise. “The public should have confidence in what we are doing,” she said.

Regent Chair Rick Meyers introduced Sarah Bickel, who is replacing outgoing NAU Executive Vice President MJ McMahon at the end of this month. He thanked McMahon for being “such a great representative of NAU and help[ing] the board recognize the great strengths of this university.”

The board also recognized Allen Reich, professor of hotel and restaurant management, who has served as president for NAU Faculty Senate for the past two years and is the outgoing Arizona Faculties Council representative to ABOR.

The next regularly scheduled regent meeting will be held Sept. 26-27 at NAU.