Instructional Leadership, emphasis: K-12 School Leadership (MEd)
Aerial picture of NAU's Flagstaff campus with mountains in the distance.

Announcing the Search Advisory Committee for NAU’s EVP and University Provost

Dear Lumberjacks,

I am pleased to announce the official launch of the search for NAU’s next Executive Vice President (EVP) and University Provost. The EVP and University Provost is responsible for leading our university’s academic enterprise and serves as the President’s senior-most advisor and thought partner in carrying out the institution’s vision and mission. As I have shared in previous updates about the evolution of this role to EVP and our planning to ensure continuity and momentum, this is a crucial leadership role for our university.

Leading the process is a representative search advisory committee that reflects a range of perspectives, spanning our academic colleges, a breadth disciplinary backgrounds, and academic ranks and leadership roles from across NAU’s community of engaged teacher-scholars. Their work will focus on vetting applicants and making informed recommendations for advancement through the process based on exceptional academic leadership, a record of positive impact that centers equitable value and student success, and a sincere commitment to the shared values of our leadership team and vision of NAU 2025 – Elevating Excellence.

The committee will be co-chaired by Laurie Dickson (Vice President for University Strategy) and Kate Ellis (Faculty Senate President and Professor of Theatre). Both Laurie and Kate served on the NAU Presidential Search Advisory Committee and are trusted institutional leaders who understand NAU’s rich history and champion our future vision for excellence. They will be supported by SP&A Executive Search, who served as executive search partners for the NAU presidential search. As this process unfolds, we will engage the university community in helping shape key dimensions of the profile in the next few weeks and provide robust forums for interaction with finalists visiting NAU, tentatively planned for early spring 2024. Our goal is for the EVP and University Provost to begin their tenure in summer 2024.

Below is the full composition of the search advisory committee:

  • Laurie Dickson, Co-Chair (Vice President for University Strategy and Senior Associate to the President)
  • Kate Ellis, Co-Chair (President of the Faculty Senate and Professor, Theatre; College of Arts and Letters)
  • Roger Bounds (Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs)
  • Debra Edgerton (President’s Distinguished Teaching Fellow and Assistant Professor, School of Art and Design; College of Arts and Letters)
  • Catherine Gehring (Regents’ Professor, Biological Sciences; College of the Environment, Forestry, and Natural Sciences)
  • Roger Haro (Dean of the College of the Environment, Forestry, and Natural Sciences)
  • Terri Hayes (Associate Vice President for Academic Support)
  • Tarang Jain (Associate Professor, Physical Therapy and Athletic Training; College of Health and Human Services)
  • Chris Jocks (Chair and Associate Teaching Professor, Applied Indigenous Studies; College of Social and Behavioral Sciences)
  • James Palmer (Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, College of Engineering, Informatics, and Applied Sciences; Professor, School of Informatics, Computing, and Cyber Systems)
  • Claudia Rodas (HSI Advisor to the University Provost and Associate Teaching Professor, Educational Specialties; College of Education)
  • Gavin Zhang (Chair and Professor, Information Systems, Management, and Marketing; W. A. Franke College of Business)

I am deeply appreciative of the commitment of time, talent, and energy from each of these individuals to provide perspective and advisement throughout this important process. I look forward to consulting closely with them in the weeks ahead and to the crucial work they will do to help put forward an exceptional set of finalists with whom our entire university community can engage.

In closing, I want to take a moment to thank Provost Karen Pugliesi for her committed leadership now and through the conclusion of this search and onboarding of her successor. She has been an exceptional partner to me since stepping into the role in 2021 and has brought an invaluable breadth of institutional knowledge and commitment to our shared vision to all her work. The record of accomplishments from the last two years speaks for itself, and I am confident that Provost Pugliesi’s energy and visionary leadership will continue to propel us on a positive trajectory. In so doing, we will solidify our position as a national leader in delivering equitable postsecondary value, strengthening the recognition of our work and the ability of NAU to recruit an EVP and University Provost who will continue to elevate our excellence.

I look forward to the important work ahead and to the engagement of our university community as this process unfolds.


José Luis Cruz Rivera's signature.

José Luis Cruz Rivera