Strategic Issues  for Master List

September 2001 


1 Issue:  To attain an operating budget that supports Northern Arizona University’s mission.

Description:  The State of Arizona and NAU must develop and fund a resource plan that supports the mission of the institution to provide excellent educational programs for undergraduate and graduate students at its mountain campus in Flagstaff, as well as the mission to serve rural Arizona and Arizona citizens seeking professional and workforce development education.  The current Arizona State Budget revenue shortfall and the NAU budget recission heighten the need to act strategically to protect academic programming. 

2. Issue:  Salary market deficiencies

 Description:  Compared to its Board of Regents approved peer institutions, NAU’s faculty fell to the 7th percentile for all faculty ranks.  Non-teaching professional and classified staff show similar salary deficiencies.  Failure to address this problem becomes increasingly serious as the numbers of employees resigning and retiring increase.

3.  Issue:  To increase enrollment and improve retention on the mountain campus.

Description:  NAU needs to increase its enrollment and garner increased financial support by engaging in strategies to recruit and retain the mountain campus student population.  Retention efforts will include more accessible and better advising, learner centered educational programming, and effective assessment.  Recruitment of out-of-state and international students provides diversity and increased support per student for the academic mission.

 4.  Issue: Continuing and expansion of technology enhanced and delivered education.

Description:  NAU must continue to develop new courses and degree programs to become a leader in the use of technology and in the delivery of programs.  NAU will also expand primary research on the use and assessment of technology enhanced and delivered instruction and the use of technology to facilitate a learner-centered environment.

 5.  Issue:  The need for and access to “workforce” educational programming through Proposition 301 initiatives.

 Description:  NAU needs to develop educational programming to respond to Proposition 301 goals defined by State of Arizona and Board of Regents concerning the university’s ability to react to changes in the economy and changes in knowledge demands faced by workers.

 6. Issue:  To create an infrastructure for graduate education and research.

 Description:  To obtain increased research support from federal and other sources for the academic mission, NAU must develop an infrastructure that provides incentives and a foundation that encourages research growth.  Differential tuition for professional programs and certificates, graduate fellowships, and strategic distribution of indirect research funds are initial strategies to build capacity.

 7.  Issue:  Infusing a learner-centered educational environment throughout Northern Arizona University’s educational and service programming.

 Description:  Incorporating learner-centered education approaches in curriculum, pedagogy, goals, assessments, and in academic and administrative support structures and practices requires sustained focus and commitment.

 8.  Issue:  Faculty development is a key strategy enabling NAU to achieve its mission and goals.

Description:  NAU must assist faculty to develop expertise in modern education trends and techniques, assessment of teaching and learning, use of technology in education, as well as support their research and development efforts for long-term institutional excellence.