Forging a Future

President John D. Haeger announced Sept. 5, 2013 that he would leave the role of president and return to the faculty. The Arizona Board of Regents have selected Rita Cheng, chancellor of Southern Illinois University, as NAU's 16th president with a term to begin Aug. 15. Visit President Haeger's legacy website and read about the presidential transition.

Since John Haeger was selected in 2001 to be NAU’s 15th president, the university has seen tremendous growth: in its student population, in its research agenda and in distance programming. New construction has provided a much needed makeover for a large portion the 735-acre Flagstaff campus and brought access and affordability to students across Arizona.

NAU also has introduced groundbreaking initiatives such as the Pledge fixed-rate tuition plan and a bachelor’s degree in as little as three years at NAU-Yavapai.

Throughout all the changes, the tradition and values of Northern Arizona University have continued to make a difference in the lives of students, alumni and friends.

All the strides, all the progress have come in the face of unprecedented budget restrictions and a changing climate for higher education funding that has effectively turned NAU into a semi-public institution. The university is relying on enhanced partnerships, innovation, efficiency and collaboration to succeed.

The Arizona Board of Regents has charged NAU with ambitious goals to attain by 2020. The 2020 Vision plan calls for Arizona’s universities to double the number of baccalaureate degrees by 2020, with NAU hosting 25,000 students on its Flagstaff campus alone.

To attain these important goals, the university must continue to respond quickly to what the state needs. One example is NAU’s expansion of health professions education, which soon will include a physician assistant program in downtown Phoenix. NAU also is boosting its science, technology, engineering and math fields offerings.