Past Weekly Hits

Sept. 24-30, 2005
Sept. 20-23, 2005
Sept. 13-19, 2005
Sept. 6-12, 2005
Aug. 30-Sept. 5, 2005
Aug. 23-29, 2005
Aug. 16-22, 2005
Aug. 9-15, 2005
Aug. 2-8, 2005

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Media highlights for the week of Sept. 24-30, 2005
A sampling of NAU programs, professors, students, staff and alumni appearing in the news

CAC's governing board meets
The ribbon-cutting for the new Gloria Sheldon University Center will be Oct. 10. Northern Arizona University classes are scheduled to begin there in mid October.
Tri-Valley Central (Pinal County, AZ) 9/30/2005

Colleges across Arizona are getting a make-over
Colleges across Arizona are getting a make-over to pave the way for a fast-growing number of students. University enrollment in the state is expected to increase 60 percent over the next 15 years. That's why the Arizona Board of Regents voted to redesign the education system. NAU is going to add branches to its campus and focus more on undergraduate programs.
KPHO-TV (Phoenix, AZ), 9/30/2005

Conference center gets $2M from city
Flagstaff's dark skies ordinance and the city's desire for energy-efficient buildings will be respected as Northern Arizona University pushes forward with a proposed hotel/conference center worth an estimated $32 million. That was one of the final details of an inter-governmental agreement between the city of Flagstaff and NAU that was worked out this week before the council approved the agreement Wednesday afternoon. Now the fate of the conference center lies in the hands of the Arizona Board of Regents, which will review the agreement at its meeting in Flagstaff today.
Arizona Daily Sun (Flagstaff, AZ), 9/30/2005

Regents clear way for conference center
Northern Arizona University can move forward with plans to build a 37,000-square foot center near the corner of Butler Avenue and Milton Road. At its Thursday meeting, the Arizona Board of Regents approved a $2 million intergovernmental agreement with the Flagstaff City Council, paving the way for the proposed conference center. Plans call for it to accommodate groups ranging from 200 to 1,000 participants.
Arizona Daily Sun (Flagstaff, AZ), 9/30/2005

Regents vote to give state universities new focus
The Arizona Board of Regents has voted to redesign Arizona's higher education system, giving each of the state's three universities a tighter and more specialized focus. NAU will focus on undergraduates, more collaboration with community colleges, distance learning and the addition of branch campuses in other parts of the state. Of the changes, NAU President John Haeger said, "This gave us an opportunity to sit back and look at who we are."
KVOA-TV (Tucson, AZ), 9/30/2005

Slow progress on NAU faculty salaries
Sometimes progress takes time. For faculty salaries at Northern Arizona University, progress is slow if not stagnant. Last year, NAU ranked 17th out of 17 comparable universities. This year, it moved up to 16th. "We are still at the bottom with our peer institutions," said John Haeger, NAU president, while addressing the Arizona Board of Regents Thursday in Flagstaff. "We've made some progress over the last couple of years," said Lisa Nelson, NAU spokeswoman. Nelson said increases are part of a multi-year plan set forth by the university president.
Arizona Daily Sun (Flagstaff, AZ), 9/30/2005

Students protest high cost of books
Arizona university students are sick of paying high prices for textbooks, so they're joining a national campaign to fight the rising cost of education. The "Make Textbooks Affordable" campaign is a joint effort of student organizations across the state to protest the high cost of textbooks. The campaign suggests there are other ways to buy books, including buying them from overseas Web sites, using an online book swap or borrowing a copy from the library.
The Arizona Republic (Phoenix, AZ), 9/30/2005

Universities get new focus
A redesign of the state's universities means Arizona State University's four campuses will become far more specialized, giving thousands of students more choices of where to pursue their college educations. NAU will focus on undergraduates, more collaboration with community colleges, distance learning and the addition of branch campuses in other parts of the state, something that university officials call "Expand on Demand."
The Arizona Republic (Phoenix, AZ), 9/30/2005

NAU researcher sees signs of climate change
Global warming is affecting northern Arizona's water supply, seasons and forests, a public policy advocacy group, environmental group and Northern Arizona University researcher said Wednesday. "We still are just starting to understand the implications of climate change in our area," NAU biologist Neil Cobb said.
Arizona Daily Sun (Flagstaff, AZ), 9/29/2005

One conference center bidder better than none
At least there's a bidder. That's the good news coming from the latest chapter in Flagstaff's long-running saga of the hotel/conference center that refuses to die. But with nobody else in the ballgame, it's unclear just how competitive that bid is. The bidder is Drury Southwest, and the project is being spearheaded not by the city of Flagstaff but by Northern Arizona University. In an ideal world, the committee would be working with two or three good bids to choose from. But given the history of this project, we should all be grateful that at least someone stepped forward keep alive a concept that seems a sure winner in a college town like Flagstaff.
Arizona Daily Sun (Flagstaff, AZ), 9/29/2005

UA, NAU to present strategies for growth
Northern Arizona University plans to expand its role in the Tucson region with an NAU-Tucson campus becoming a full-scale, stand-alone regional university of 3,000 students. The long-term plans of both UA and NAU for a systemwide redesign will be presented to the Arizona Board of Regents for approval today at its meeting in Flagstaff. NAU also expects to educate many more students at satellite locations, eventually developing a series of free-standing regional universities, in Tucson, Phoenix, Prescott, Yuma and Pinal County. 'It wouldn't be a traditional campus like the U of A but would be a campus that would serve many different needs, and it would grow as the demand grows,' said Fred Hurst, vice president for extended programs and dean of distance learning at NAU. NAU is the current leader in distance education in the state, with about 8,000 students enrolled in classes at 30 locations. By 2020, NAU expects about 40,000 students in distance-learning programs.
Arizona Daily Star (Tucson, AZ), 9/29/2005

Arizona news briefs
The City Council is scheduled to vote today on the language in an agreement with Northern Arizona University to build a hotel and conference center. The agreement is required for the city's $2 million contribution and needed before Thursday's Arizona Board of Regents meeting in Flagstaff.
The Arizona Republic (Phoenix, AZ), 9/28/2005

Residents speak up for 4-year degrees
Community leaders in Pinal County told a panel of legislators and the chair of the Board of Regents Monday that county residents do not have enough access to affordable baccalaureate programs. The discussions came during a community forum led by Rep. Laura Knaperek, R-Tempe, who said she plans to introduce legislation that will allow community colleges to offer certain four-year baccalaureate programs. Fred Hurst, NAU's vice president of extended programs, said it has been a partner with CAC for 10 years. NAU has more than 200 students in Pinal County, and it has no interest in changing its admission requirements. It has never turned away students who want to be teachers. Chris Braybrooks, president of the CAC student body, asked if NAU offers a secondary education program in Pinal. "No," Hurst said. Braybrooks said he knows more than 150 students who would like to pursue degrees in secondary education. Hurst said a degree in secondary education requires 45 hours of training in a specific discipline like math or science. And there are 30 to 40 disciplines. "If you can find 15 people interested in one discipline, we will offer a class," he said.
Tri-Valley Central (Pinal County, AZ), 9/28/2005

Back from Iraq, off to Louisiana
Some of the same Arizona National Guard soldiers who served in Iraq 17 months ago are again putting school, work and family life on hold, this time to help with Hurricane Katrina cleanup in Louisiana. Northern Arizona University has confirmed having two Guard members who attend classes there, but that estimate is probably low, university officials said. The students have the option of canceling classes for the semester and getting full refunds, then picking up in the spring where they left off.
Arizona Daily Sun (Flagstaff, AZ), 9/27/2005

Chester speaks on challenges faced by 'Generation Why'
Over 500 people attended Eric Chester's speech, "The Power of Young Leaders," in the Alumni Gym on Sept. 21. Chester is a nationally recognized expert and motivational speaker on "Generation Why". Chester lives in Colorado and has a Master of Arts degree from Northern Arizona University.
Pacer (Martin, TN), 9/27/2005

Conference center pact delayed
The proposed hotel and conference center should be subject to Flagstaff's dark skies ordinance and city sales and taxes assessed to others in the industry, said the Flagstaff City Council. These and other issues postponed an agreement for the construction of a $32 million hotel and conference center between Northern Arizona University and the city of Flagstaff Monday. The agreement is required for the city's $2 million contribution, and needed before Thursday's Arizona Board of Regents meeting in Flagstaff.
Arizona Daily Sun (Flagstaff, AZ), 9/27/2005

Arizona universities expand online courses
The Arizona Universities Network—AZUN for short—and a new Web portal linking all the online course offerings at the University of Arizona, Arizona State University and Northern Arizona University are part of an effort now, led by NAU, to harness the growth in demand for online courses. "The idea is to make it seamless for students to be able to look for courses and take those courses regardless of which institution and make that as simple as possible," said Fred Hurst, vice president for extended programs and dean of distance learning at NAU."One of the advantages in Arizona teaching courses at a distance like this is there is expertise at each of the three universities, which isn't really duplicated," said Mark Hickman, a UA civil engineering associate professor. "By doing that, we all work complementary in such a way we can provide an integrated curriculum between the three universities."
Arizona Daily Star (Tucson, AZ), 9/26/2005

[this clip also appeared on ITtoolbox and Casa Grande Valley Newspapers]

New Test of English as a Foreign Language Will Put Emphasis on Speaking
The Educational Testing Service introduced on Saturday a new version of the Test of English as a Foreign Language that it said was a better gauge of how well foreigners seeking to study in the United States and other countries could really speak the language. Students around the world already put great efforts into preparing for the Toefl, said William Grabe, a professor of English at Northern Arizona University and a member of a committee of scholars who advise ETS on the test. "We've tried to engineer the test so that, in practicing for it, they're learning skills they actually need at university. We thought that's pretty clever."
The Chronicle of Higher Education (Washington, DC), 9/26/2005

Bringing bright ribbons home to Flag
From an early age, Sam Minkler knew he had a knack for photography. But the local artist is still humble after taking home bright orange, blue and red first- and second-place ribbons and prize money at the 84th Santa Fe Indian Market. Minkler, 54, has taught photography at the School of Communication at NAU since about 1988. He feels the awards are wonderful news for the diverse art community of Flagstaff. "This is really cool news for NAU and for Native Americans," he said.
Arizona Daily Sun (Flagstaff, AZ), 9/25/2005

Conference center shaping up
The city of Flagstaff is expected to ratify an agreement with Northern Arizona University Monday that will put a $32 million hotel/conference center at least one administrative step closer to reality. But with just one bid received by Thursday's deadline, it's unclear how financially viable the project is. "We haven't had a chance to thoroughly analyze the Drury proposal," NAU President John Haeger said. "But this is obviously a strong bid by a well-established company with a successful track record that want to expand into Arizona."
Arizona Daily Sun (Flagstaff, AZ), 9/25/2005

Migrants leaving ugly mark on land
There are places along the Mexico border in Arizona where the desert floor is hidden by discarded backpacks, shoes and other refuse left behind by people crossing the border. "It's like collateral damage," said Gary Nabhan, director of the Center for Sustainable Environments at Northern Arizona University, who has studied southern Arizona desert ecology. The environmental impacts will long outlive those dropping the trash, Mr. Nabhan said. "You can still see tracks and garbage from a much smaller group of people ... 150 years later," he said. "This last decade of increase in illegal border crossings will inevitably be seen on the ground well into the 22nd century."
WFAA-TV (Dallas, TX), 9/25/2005

[This clip originally appeared in the Dallas Morning News, but also appeared at the National Center for Policy Analysis, Columbus Ledger-Enquirer, Bradenton Herald]

New Philip Glass piano concerto integrates Native and Western influences
No one has done more to popularize the hauntingly beautiful sound of the Native American flute than R. Carlos Nakai, whose name has become synonymous with that of his instrument over the past two decades. Nakai trained himself in brass technique, though his music studies got derailed when he was drafted after his first year at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff.
Seattle Times (Seattle, WA), 9/25/2005

BHSU professor to have paper published in the Journal of Evolutionary Biology
David Siemens, assistant biology professor at Black Hills State University, will publish a paper this fall in an international peer-reviewed biology journal. Siemens received his master's degree in biology and his Ph.D. in zoology from Northern Arizona University. (Deadwood, SD), 9/24/20057

Norway sends six to train at high altitude in Arizona
A team of six from the Norwegian Swimming Federation is making its way to Arizona and the Center for High Altitude Training. The group will be training at the Northern Arizona University facilities from September 29th until October 21st. The facilities at NAU have been popular among traveling national teams such as Australia and Japan in past years. The altitude of the Flagstaff center is considered to be ideal for training at an elevation of 7,000 feet or 2,134 meters.
SwimInfo (online), 9/24/2005

Payson High teacher tops in state
Payson High now boasts the top teacher in Arizona's rural schools. Anna Van Zile, an English and literature teacher, received the prestigious honor Sept. 17 at the Arizona Rural School Association convention in Prescott. In addition to the ARSA laurels, Van Zile was earlier named the Gila County Teacher of the Year and the 2004 Payson Rotary Teacher of the Year. In 1999, Van Zile earned a master's degree in secondary instruction from Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff.
Worldwest LLC (Payson, AZ), 9/24/2005

Swing into science all week long
Today is Mountain Campus Science Day, in the Wettaw Biology and Biochemistry Building at NAU, where bugs, life forms, electron viewing, a chemistry magic show and the mapping of the Mars Rover landing site take center stage.
Arizona Daily Sun (Flagstaff, AZ), 9/24/2005