Steven Burrell: Chief Information Officer Accordion Closed
Steven Burrell, EdD, is vice president and chief information officer at Northern Arizona University. He has 35 years of higher education technology leadership experience.
Dr. Burrell began his career at Colorado State University and held the top IT leadership position at Hutchinson Community College (Kansas), Plymouth State University (New Hampshire), Saint Leo University (Florida), and Georgia Southern University.
Burrell is a lifelong learner, earning a bachelor’s of science degree in Computer Science from Sterling College (Kansas), a master’s of education degree in Technology Administration from Plymouth State University, an education specialist degree in Leadership from Georgia Southern University, and a doctor of Education of Higher Education Leadership from Georgia Southern University.
He is also a graduate of the Harvard University College of Education Institute for Educational Management. His research interests are in the humanizing aspects of technology and leadership development and is currently conducting qualitative research of gender bias as barriers to aspiring women IT leaders.
Christy Farley: VP for External Affairs & Partnerships Accordion Closed
Christy Farley currently serves as the Vice President of External Affairs and Partnerships and Senior Associate to the President of Northern Arizona University, as well as the Chief Administrative Officer for NAU’s Programs at the Phoenix Biomedical Campus. She oversees local, state and federal government affairs for NAU as well as represents the President of NAU with K12, community college, and corporate partnership programs. In July 2012, with NAU’s inaugural programs added to the Phoenix Biomedical Campus in partnership with the University of Arizona College of Medicine Phoenix, Christy took on the additional responsibilities as Chief Administrator of those programs, primarily developing partnership agreements with the UA, assisting with outreach to the healthcare community and working on NAU’s strategic plan for healthcare education programs in Phoenix. Christy has worked for NAU since December 2004. She previously served as the Executive Director of the State Board of Education for 2½ years and as Legislative Analyst, Director of Legislation and Education Policy Advisor for Governors Symington and Hull for 10 years. Christy is a native Arizonan, primarily raised in Flagstaff, and a resident of Phoenix for over 25 years. She has served on a number of Boards and Committees, including the State Board for Charter Schools and Expect More Arizona’s Board of Directors. She is married and has two school age children.
Bjorn Flugstad: VP for Finance, Inst. Planning & Analysis & CFO Accordion Closed
Bjorn Flugstad serves as NAU’s Vice President for Finance, Institutional Planning & Analysis and Chief Financial Officer of the University. Mr. Flugstad holds a Master’s degree in Finance from the University of Wisconsin – Madison, as well as a Bachelor of Arts from Hamline University, where he graduated summa cum laude and was a member of Phi Beta Kappa. Mr. Flugstad has more than 20 years of experience in finance, accounting, budgeting, and planning roles. He joined NAU in February 2008 as an analyst in the Budget Office and since that time has held administrative roles with increasing responsibility including Director of the Budget Office in 2010, Vice President for Institutional Effectiveness in 2014 and Vice President for Finance, Institutional Planning and Analysis along with the University Chief Financial Officer beginning in 2016. Prior to joining the University, Mr. Flugstad held managerial and analyst roles in corporate finance organizations at large corporations including IBM, Thomson Reuters, Cardinal Health and Johnson Outdoors. In these roles, his activities focused on cost accounting, financial planning and analysis, financial statement consolidation, new product analysis and planning, and compliance testing.
Mr. Flugstad’s current responsibilities include oversight for university finance and budget activities, strategic planning, institutional research, data governance and internal audit. He works with the President and University senior leaders to position the university in these areas and in developing University metrics and operational process improvements to improve the university’s performance. Mr. Flugstad also works closely with Arizona Board of Regents staff, various state agencies and external banking partners.
Erin Grisham: VP for Student Affairs Accordion Closed
Erin Grisham serves as the Vice President for Student Affairs and oversees various student-serving initiatives throughout the NAU community and its partners. As a member of the President’s Cabinet, she leads the University’s portfolio of student success initiatives that emphasize a culture of care for each student’s NAU experience. Through the efforts of various Student Affairs departments, Erin ensures the NAU students have the resources needed to access and thrive in their college journey. These initiatives include Student Engagement and Inclusive Excellence, Student Health and Wellness, Student Success and Academic Partnerships, Residential Life, and the Office of the Dean of Students. Specialized programs in these areas focus on student government, fraternity and sorority life, veteran and military services, off-campus life, tutoring, career development, student health and wellness, indigenous student success, multicultural and LGBTQIA services, student leadership, first-generation student programs, campus life, and college access programs to youth across northern Arizona. In 2010, she worked with private foundations and the Flagstaff YMCA to launch the highly successful Northern Arizona College Resource Center. This partnership expands and facilitates University outreach to a broader audience of prospective students. In 2015, Erin was named Woman of the Year by Arizona Women in Higher Education – an active group of higher education leaders that engages women to strive and succeed in reaching their potential, both personally and professionally. In 2013, the Arizona Commission for Postsecondary Education honored Erin’s dedication to – and leadership in – college access, transition, and success programs. Erin holds a bachelor’s degree in political science and sociology and a master’s degree in sociology from the University of Arizona. She completed the University of Southern California’s Leadership in Enrollment Management program.
Chad Hamill: VP for Native American Initiatives Accordion Closed
Chad S. Hamill, Ph.D. serves as Vice President for Native American Initiatives at Northern Arizona University, where he maintains a faculty position in the Department of Applied Indigenous Studies. Tasked with advancing NAU’s strategic goal to become the nation’s leading university serving Native Americans, Dr. Hamill established the Office of Native American Initiatives (ONAI) in 2016. With an emphasis on expanding educational opportunities for Native American students and their communities, ONAI has developed programs in the areas of tribal leadership, environmental stewardship, culturally-responsive K12 pedagogy, and Native mentorship. In addition to working in collaboration with many of the 22 Native nations in Arizona, ONAI has cultivated partnerships with Indigenous programs and communities in Canada and Australia. An ethnomusicologist, Dr. Hamill’s scholarship is focused on song traditions of the Interior Northwest US, including those carried by his Spokane ancestors. In addition to his book, Songs of Power and Prayer in the Columbia Plateau (Oregon State University Press) he has produced numerous articles centered on Columbia Plateau songs and ceremony, exploring topics ranging from sovereignty to Indigenous ecological knowledge. Prior to his current position as Vice President for Native American Initiatives, Hamill served as Chair of the Department of Applied Indigenous Studies at NAU and as Chair of the Indigenous Music Section of the Society for Ethnomusicology. Currently, he sits on the Advisory Board of the Smithsonian’s Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage and the Indian Education Advisory Council for the Office of Indian Education, housed within the Arizona Department of Education. He also serves as Vice President and Treasurer of the Spokane Language House, a 501c3 that contributes to the sustainability of the Spokane language. Hamill was a 2018-2019 American Council on Education Fellow, during which time he assisted Southern Oregon University in increasing recruitment of Native American students and establishing partnerships with the nine Native nations in the state of Oregon.
Laura Jones: Chief Institutional Data Officer Accordion Closed
Laura Jones assumes executive-level responsibility and coordination for all enterprise information and data management initiatives. When Laura began in the CIDO role in 2016, she was tasked with designing, developing, and implementing a comprehensive data governance structure in support of the university’s mission and strategic goals. Three years later, NAU has made significant progress towards accomplishing their initial goals to improve data quality, data collection, data and policy management, and secure access to timely data. Laura works with leadership to further advance data governance initiatives through refined data standards, improved data integrity, and accessible and relevant training for all campus users.
Prior to the CIDO role, Laura served as NAU’s Associate Vice President for Planning and Institutional Research, overseeing the team responsible for all aspects of official university reporting and analysis. Laura draws on the broad foundation of experiences she gained through more than 20 years in various positions at NAU in the Registrar’s Office, College of Business, Academic Advising, and on the Oracle PeopleSoft Implementation Team. The current CIDO role provides her with the unique opportunity to advance data governance initiatives while maintaining Institutional Research and Analysis oversight. Laura possesses a Bachelor of Music Degree in Classical Piano Performance and a Master of Education degree in Higher Education Administration, both from NAU.
Mike Marlow: VP for Intercollegiate Athletics Accordion Closed
Joining NAU as Vice President for Intercollegiate Athletics in January of 2018, Mike Marlow is a 29 year veteran of intercollegiate athletics, having served most recently as a senior level administrator at the University of Oregon (12 years) and Washington State University (seven years). Marlow began his career in the Big Sky Conference at the University of Montana and also served at the University of Idaho.
Departmentally focused on maximizing the academic and athletic potential of all student-athletes, revenue generation has been a key area of focus. The department rebranded the development unit into the Skyjacks. At the same time, the department’s general fundraising approach was refocused, which has resulted in a 60% growth in philanthropic contributions and a 66% increase in the number of donors from 2018 to 2019. With $1,275,000 raised in 2019, NAU Athletics eclipsed the million-dollar mark for the first time in school history.
On the academic front, NAU Athletics proudly celebrated the efforts of student-athletes and staff in achieving the highest cumulative GPA in the history of NAU Athletics in 2018-19. Additionally, NAU student-athletes participated in over 1,732 community service hours in Flagstaff and Northern Arizona last year.
Marlow and NAU’s Head Coaches firmly believe that “Being champions on the fields of competition and in the classroom requires championship caliber effort and a champion’s attitude.” Prior to arriving at Northern Arizona, Marlow had been part of athletic programs that advanced to over 60 postseason appearances and enjoyed conference championships in multiple sports.
Continuing the upward trajectory of NAU Athletics and helping to position NAU Athletics for the future, the construction of a 70,000 square foot Student-Athlete High Performance Center has begun. Working collaboratively with campus in general and the College of Health and Human Services in particular, this transformational building will provide championship caliber athletic medicine, nutrition, strength and conditioning and academic space to meet the primary objective of NAU Athletics . . . to maximize the academic and athletic potential of all NAU student-athletes.
A Hoquiam, Washington native, Marlow earned both his undergraduate and master’s degrees from Washington State University. He and his wife of 28 years, Barbara, have two daughters, Courtney (23), and Haley (18) and one son, Jeffrey (19).
Rickey McCurry: VP for Development & Alumni Engagement Accordion Closed
Rickey N. McCurry, J.D. is the Vice President of Advancement and the Chief Executive Officer of the NAU Foundation. He joined NAU in 2018 with over 30 years of higher education advancement and foundation leadership experience.
Prior to NAU, Rickey was the Vice President of Development for the University of Tennessee system, as well as the CEO of the UT Foundation, Inc. and Executive Director for the UT Alumni Association. He has also held advancement positions at Pennsylvania State University, Southern Illinois University, and Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology.
McCurry received his undergraduate degree in history and English from Lane College (TN) and his Juris Doctorate degree from North Carolina Central University School of Law. He is also a graduate of AASCU’s Millennium Leadership Institute.
McCurry has been an active member of the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) since 1984 including service on the Institutionally Related Foundation Board, the Commission on Philanthropy, Chair of District V, and as a trustee on the Global Board. In 2009, he was recognized as the CASE-Commonfund Foundation CEO of the Year and in 2015 received the CASE Distinguished Service Award from District V.
Outside of his professional work, McCurry has been committed to the communities in which he has lived. He has served as vice chair of the Board of Directors for Memorial Hospital (Terre Haute, IN), member of the Board of Directors of Zoo Knoxville (TN), member of various Chambers of Commerce and Rotary International.
Dan Okoli: VP for Capital Planning & Campus Operation Accordion Closed
As the Vice President for Capital Planning and Campus Operations, Dan Okoli collaborates with many stakeholders across campus. Dan is responsible for the management of capital planning and construction, real estate, facility management and maintenance on all NAU campuses; managing space; monitoring maintenance and disposal of physical assets and equipment inventory control; administration of campus safety and security and emergency management and preparedness; campus sustainability programs, parking and transportation services; postal services, campus housing; university unions, dining services, campus bookstore, and conference center and services; risk management and insurance administration; and development and administration of procurement, which includes the procurement of goods and services and contract administration. Dan also oversees leasing of facilities throughout the state, and leasehold improvements and buildouts. Dan has a passion to run campus operations effectively and efficiently in a spirit of true stewardship.
Prior to joining Northern Arizona University, Dan was the Chief Architect and Director of Capital Planning and Development at the University of Wisconsin – Madison for almost 12 years. At UW-Madison Dan was responsible for implementing the Comprehensive Campus Master Plan to enhance overall sense of place; this was accomplished through constant involvement in design decisions and material selection for a variety of large and small projects, and leading the formal design review process as chair of the campus design review board. He wrote the campus design guide and its revision 10 years later. Dan also led the university’s effort in capital budgeting and delivery of many projects totaling more than $3 billion over a 12-year span.
Dan also served as University Architect and Director of Architecture and Planning Services at Pace University, New York, where he led planning, design, and project delivery. He also served as senior architect for The Ohio State University, worked in the private sector, and taught at several colleges as adjunct faculty. Dan has earned undergraduate and graduate degrees, including a PhD in Higher Education Leadership. He holds architecture licenses in several states and is a former and current member of a number of boards in the U.S. and abroad.
Anika Olsen: Vice President of Enrollment Management Accordion Closed
Anika Olsen brings 25 years of higher education experience to her role of Vice President for Enrollment Management. Anika has held posts that span a wide range of administrative areas, including Housing and Residence Life, Greek Life, Admissions, Communications and Orientation. In recent years, Anika has served as a Principal and Consultant with EAB Enrollment Services, advising some of the nation’s most notable college and universities on their operational and recruitment challenges.
Anika’s team is at the center of the implementation of NAU’s Student Access and Success Plan, ensuring access for students to successfully meet their academic aspirations during this time of unprecedented change in higher education. She is passionate about placing the student experience at the core of the university’s decision-making process.
When not learning from colleagues and students on campus, Anika can be found mountain biking or traveling with her husband, Rob, or cheering on one of her kids, Carson, Aidan and Abby in soccer, dance, diving, track or life.
Anika received her Bachelor of Arts in History and Social Sciences from the University of the Pacific in 1994, her Master of Arts in Higher Education and Student Affairs from The Ohio State University in 1997. To continue her education, Anika received a Certificate of Leadership in Enrollment Management from the University of Southern California in May of 2014.
Kimberly Ott: Asst. to the Pres. for Exec. Communication & Media Relations Accordion Closed
Kimberly Ott is the Assistant to the President for Executive Communication and Media Relations at Northern Arizona University. She leads teams responsible for developing and implementing communication strategies that help advance university initiatives. The functional areas that she is responsible for include executive communications, NAU Communications and news, media outreach, public records requests, social media, TV services and KNAU radio (NPR affiliate).
Prior to joining NAU in 2016, she was the Communications Director at the City of Flagstaff for 25 years. Her work at the City included creating and managing its website and developing the first community direct mail news magazine and its inaugural social media platforms. She was also responsible for public education events and programs, and media relations.
She spent 10 years working as a news reporter and News Director for Flagstaff media outlets and a popular morning show for KMGN called Ott and Scott in the morning.
Committed to the Flagstaff community, she enjoys working on numerous boards and organizations in the greater Flagstaff area. She currently serves as a Certificate Holder for Northern Arizona Healthcare and has held leadership positions with the Flagstaff Leadership Program, United Way of Northern Arizona, the Guidance Center, Northland Hospice, and Northland Family Help Center.
As a graduate of Northern Arizona University she remains dedicated to her alma mater through personal donations, supporting students, student athletes, and programs and serving as a Past President of the NAU Alumni Association Board.
Michelle Parker: General Counsel Accordion Closed
Michelle Parker serves as General Counsel for Northern Arizona University.
Michelle reports directly to the President of NAU, Dr. Rita Hartung Cheng, as well as to the Arizona Board of Regents, which oversees Arizona’s three public Universities. Michelle is a member of the President’s Executive Leadership Team, and is responsible for advising the executive leadership of NAU and the ABOR enterprise system regarding all legal issues impacting the University.
Michelle is an active member of the National Association of College and University Attorneys, where she is pleased to serve on planning committees and to present at NACUA national conferences. Michelle also proudly volunteers as a faculty member for the National Institute for Trial Advocacy, a non-profit organization dedicated to teaching ethics and legal advocacy skills to attorneys.
Before becoming in-house counsel at NAU in 2010, Michelle’s private practice primarily focused on education law and civil (including appellate) litigation; among her clients were numerous schools throughout Arizona, including universities, community colleges, k-12 school districts, and charter schools. Michelle has published and spoken to educators and attorneys throughout the nation regarding legal and ethical best practices at public educational institutions, with a particular focus on constitutional free speech issues in the educational setting.
The first member of her immediate family to receive a university degree, Michelle earned her Bachelor of Arts in English from the Honors College at Arizona State University in 1993; her undergraduate research was funded in part by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities. Michelle received a Master of Arts in English from ASU in 1995. She received her J.D. from the Arizona State University College of Law in 1999, and while in law school interned at the Office of the Federal Public Defender and clerked for the Hon. Barry C. Schneider, of the Maricopa County Superior Court. Prior to attending law school, Michelle was also a faculty member in ASU’s Department of English. She has been a Commissioner Pro Tempore for the Coconino County Superior Court, and in 2002 she was a finalist for the Sandra Day O’Connor Inn of Court Award for Professional Service.
David R. Schultz: VP for Research Accordion Closed
David Schultz serves as NAU’s Vice President for Research, with administrative responsibility for the university’s Office of Sponsored Projects, Office of Research Compliance, and intellectual property management and commercialization unit, NAU Innovations.
Previously, he served as Associate Vice President for Research and Innovation at the University of North Texas (UNT), a State of Texas designated emerging research university, and before that as Chair of the Department of Physics at UNT, Group Leader of Atomic Physics at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), and Research Professor at the University of Tennessee. At ORNL, he became well-known for the development of new research programs and for strategic planning, strengthening support for research by the U.S. Department of Energy and developing broader funding for work from other agencies such as NASA and the Department of Homeland Security.
Dr. Schultz is an accomplished theoretical physicist whose research involves both basic studies of few- body atomic-scale systems and applications of atomic physics in astrophysics and plasma science. He has authored or co-authored more than 210 scholarly papers treating, for example, the computational solution of the quantum mechanical few-body problem, diagnostics of fusion energy plasmas, spectral emission from the atmospheres’ of planets, and use of ultra-intense, ultrafast laser pulses as particle accelerators. In recognition of his research and research leadership, he has been elected a fellow of the American Physical Society (APS) and of the Institute of Physics in the United Kingdom.
Dr. Schultz has served on a wide range of advisory and review panels such as the National Academy of Science’s Committee on Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Sciences and as a consultant and advisory group member for the Atomic and Molecular Data Unit of the International Atomic Energy Agency. He is also a past Chair of the APS Division of Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics and is a member of APS’s governing council.
While an undergraduate at Washington University in St. Louis, where he studied physics and astronomy, he worked as a lecturer and tour guide at the McDonnell Planetarium. He then refined the focus of his study to concentrate in the field of atomic physics with applications in plasma science and astrophysics at the University of Missouri, Rolla (now Missouri University of Science and Technology) where he completed a Ph.D. in Physics.
Diane Stearns: Provost & VP for Academic Affairs Accordion Closed
Diane Stearns, PhD, is the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs. She has been at NAU for over 22 years, serving as a faculty member in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Associate Vice President for Research, and Interim Dean of the College of Engineering, Informatics, and Applied Sciences, prior to becoming Provost in Spring, 2019.
As Provost, Dr. Stearns oversees the curriculum and instruction enterprise of the institution, academic accreditation and compliance, faculty personnel, and the allocation of resources to support the academic mission. The Provost’s Office oversees the administration of seven academic colleges, the Honors College, Graduate College, and Cline Library on the Flagstaff Mountain Campus, as well as our statewide, online, and education innovation offerings.
Dr. Stearns holds a BA in Chemistry from Carleton College, and a PhD in Inorganic Chemistry from the University of California, Berkeley, and she was a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Dartmouth College before joining NAU.
Harlan Teller: Chief Marketing Officer Accordion Closed
Harlan Teller has more than 45 years of experience in corporate communications, issues and reputation management and marketing, working for much of that time as a senior consultant to some of the nation’s largest companies. He has held senior management positions at three international public relations firms, managing and mentoring large client service teams. A graduate with honors in English from Northern Illinois University, Harlan served as interim Vice President for Enrollment Management, Marketing and Communications for his alma mater from 2014 to 2017. He is a 2018 recipient of the NIU Alumni Achievement in Business and Industry Award, and was also named a Distinguished Alumnus by the NIU College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. He also has more than 30 years of experience in not-for-profit board leadership positions. Harlan has served as Chief Marketing Officer for NAU since August 1, 2019.