The President of New Northern Arizona University speaks on campus

FLAGSTAFF, Arizona (AP) – The newly appointed President of Northern Arizona University reached out to the campus community after visiting Flagstaff and spearheaded plans to develop programs and build initiatives that will drive access, success and engagement improve the university.

The Arizona Board of Regents announced Thursday that Jose Luis Cruz, Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost of the City University of New York, has accepted the position.

“The past few days have been very constructive and effective,” Cruz told the Arizona Daily Sun on Friday. “I had the opportunity to meet with members of the campus and Flagstaff. I’ve learned about their aspirations, about the challenges and opportunities they see for the future, and I’m really looking forward to these conversations. I want to learn locally and work with all of our internal and external stakeholders to create a vision that we can all strive for and move forward. “

Cruz said he had decided to leave his New York position in favor of the NAU because he wanted to return to a more community-integrated university. He becomes the 17th President of the NAU.

“I spent 25 years in higher education, working across the country on issues of access, success and equity. The opportunity involved was so in line with my values ​​and what I would hope to contribute to in the future. Not a tough decision, ”said Cruz.

The regents expect to approve the terms of the treaty and officially appoint Cruz at a later meeting. Cruz will replace the current president, Rita Cheng, who announced in September that after serving as head of the university since 2014, she will no longer seek renewals. Your contract shouldn’t end until 2022.

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.

“I will meet with as many community members and organizations as possible early on and establish structures and routines to ensure continuous communication,” Cruz told the Republic of Arizona.

Bret Danilowicz, Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs at Florida Atlantic University, was also a finalist for the position.

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