Regents Elect New President of Northern Arizona University Albuquerque Journal
FLAGSTAFF, Arizona – The Arizona Board of Regents plans to appoint Jose Luis Cruz, Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost of the City University of New York, as the next President of Northern Arizona University.
The board announced in a statement Thursday evening that Cruz “accepted the opportunity to be the next president of the NAU” and that the regents would approve the terms and conditions and officially appoint Cruz as the new NAU president at a subsequent meeting.
The regents announced on Tuesday interview invitations to Cruz and Bret Danilowicz, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs at Florida Atlantic University, and on the same day released a public notice for a special meeting that would include private interviews and discussions late Wednesday and Thursday included.
The NAU presidency opened last fall when current President Rita Cheng announced that she would not apply for a contract renewal. She remains until her replacement is appointed.
“DR. Cruz has an exceptional experience in academic leadership and I am confident that he is the right leader to build on the success of the NAU and ensure a bold and limitless future for this beloved and historic university,” said Larry E. Penley in the statement of the board of directors.
Penley also said Cruz was a “proven innovator” and “his unmatched commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion, coupled with a long track record as a leading national advocate for improving educational outcomes for all students – especially those who have been historically underserved.” will serve Arizona and NAU well. “
Cruz said in the statement by the board that it was an honor for him to be selected “as a finalist” for the NAU presidency.
Cruz was previously Provost at California State University in Fullerton. He was a former vice president of higher education policy and practice for the Education Trust in Washington, DC, and a former chief student affairs officer of the system at the University of Puerto Rico. He began his career as a member of the Engineering School of Engineering at the University of Puerto Rico, Mayagüez, and later served as Professor and Dean of Academic Affairs.