IN THE COMMUNITY
The board has deepened its connection to the community and policymakers, generating a bipartisan coalition of supporters and champions of higher education. The state budget over the past three years has made clear the state’s priority to reinvest in the public university system, countering years of debilitating cuts.
Regents, board leadership and staff continuously engage with numerous community, civic and philanthropic leaders to share news and updates as well as challenges and opportunities of Arizona’s public universities. Again this year, the majority of the business groups embedded the board’s legislative priorities in their agendas. Broadening national awareness, this year board staff held leadership positions at the State Higher Education Executive Officers national association and the National Association of College and University Attorneys. Board leadership presented to a broad range of groups, from the Junior League and alumni associations to the New Mexico Higher Education Summit, which brought leaders from across the country to discuss public higher education.
Arizona’s public universities have grown in their “tri-partisanship,” working together to support the goals of the enterprise and to serve the needs of the state. With the board’s leadership, externally focused engagement has increased, creating greater public awareness regarding the important work of the board and public higher education. The board also increased its engagement internally with faculty, recognizing their essential and fundamental role in student success. Faculty also are represented at board proceedings with a seat at the table and dedicated time on each board agenda. Engagement with student leadership also has increased with regular meetings held to discuss timely issues with student leadership.