Regents OK NAU’s tuition, approve athletics VP contract

The Arizona Board of Regents unanimously approved the tuition and mandatory fee proposals for the 2012-13 academic year from all three state universities at its regularly scheduled April 5-6 meeting at the University of Arizona in Tucson.

Northern Arizona University’s tuition proposal included a 5 percent increase for incoming undergraduate students on the Flagstaff campus, a rate that is guaranteed for four years under NAU’s Pledge program.

Ninety-four percent of Flagstaff undergraduate students are enrolled in the Pledge program and will see no tuition increase.

“We are grateful to the regents for approving the university’s proposal, which allows NAU to continue offering the exceptional value that the Pledge program represents,” NAU President John Haeger said. “The university continues to keep tuition as low as possible, and we appreciate the ongoing support of the regents.”

The board also approved NAU’s modest tuition increases proposed for graduate programs and Extended Campus sites.

Students and families have cited the Pledge program’s value in that it allows for predicting the total cost of earning a degree, Haeger said. He said NAU’s tuition proposal is based on maintaining that guarantee and simultaneously meeting the costs that rise over the next four years.

Ernest Calderón, board member and chair of the resources committee, thanked the university system staff members involved in compiling the comprehensive tuition proposals and commended the university presidents for their efforts to maintain tuition rate levels.

“On behalf of the board, I want to thank the three university presidents,” Calderón said. “They did what we asked them to do and they ratcheted down as low as they could. They’re squeezing every drip out of whatever they’ve got, and we appreciate that.”

The board also approved the five-year contract proposed for Lisa Campos as NAU’s new vice president for Intercollegiate Athletics. Campos, who officially assumes the role April 30, already is involved with the search committee reviewing candidates for NAU’s head basketball coach.

The board also approved nominees for the 2012 Award for Outstanding Service to Higher Education, including James and Jo-Ann Armstrong, William Franke, Norman and Frances McClelland and Joel Sideman. An award ceremony is anticipated at a later date.

The regents elected the following members to serve one-year terms as board officers to begin July 1: Rick Myers, chair; LuAnn Leonard, vice chair; Dennis DeConcini, secretary; and Mark Killian, treasurer.

The regents also approved NAU’s NORESCO energy audit initiative that is estimated to save the university $1.5 million per year.

The board’s next meeting is scheduled for June 14 and 15 at NAU in Flagstaff.