Time to move forward

Thursday, April 9th, 2015

I would like to thank Gov. Ducey for attending today's Board of Regents meeting. His participation signals his support and commitment to advancing Arizona's three public universities - Arizona State University, Northern Arizona University and the University of Arizona.

As well, we appreciate the governor's acknowledgement of Arizona's public universities as assets to our state and for recognizing the interdependence of higher education and economic success. (Click here for a link to the governor's remarks.)

We agree that it is time to move forward. We accept the governor's tremendous charge and embrace the opportunity to deliver an enhanced strategic plan for higher education to the board and the governor as soon as possible. We are committed to finding new ways to enhance quality, student success and access, even as we continue to confront challenges such as limited state investment and Arizona's demographic and poverty realities that affect students' educational paths.

The governor's vision is consistent with our current trajectory: we are keenly focused on results; smart and efficient growth; advancing administrative reforms that will enhance operations and encourage entrepreneurialism; maintaining affordability; identifying new partnerships and diversifying our revenue base to support an excellent educational experience; and bolstering relationships with K-12 and our community colleges to increase academic achievement and postsecondary opportunities for Arizona students. The challenge now lies in finding a path to meet all of these objectives.

I will soon convene the presidents to begin this work. In the coming weeks, we look forward to working closely with the governor and his staff, policymakers, students, and business and educational leaders to solicit input. This will be a significant undertaking, however, we are confident we can deliver a plan that produces optimal results for students and our state.