Regents choose Jose Luis Cruz as NAU’s next president

Feb 19, 2021, 9:20 AM | Updated: 9:25 am
(CUNY Photo; Facebook Photo/Northern Arizona University)...
(CUNY Photo; Facebook Photo/Northern Arizona University)
(CUNY Photo; Facebook Photo/Northern Arizona University)

PHOENIX – A nationwide search for the next president of Northern Arizona University has ended with the selection of Jose Luis Cruz, one of two finalists for the position.

The Arizona Board of Regents announced Thursday night that Cruz had “accepted the opportunity to be the next president of of NAU.”

Cruz is scheduled to address the campus community Friday in a livestream at 4:45 p.m.

“Dr. Cruz has an extraordinary record of academic leadership, and I am confident he is the right leader to build on NAU’s success and ensure a bold and boundless future for this beloved and historic university,” Board Chairman Larry E. Penley said in a press release.

Cruz has been executive vice chancellor and university provost at The City University of New York system since 2019. He began his career as an engineering faculty member at the University of Puerto Rico, Mayagüez and later served as a department chair and dean of academic affairs.

“I am honored that the Arizona Board of Regents has selected me as the finalist for the position of president of Northern Arizona University,” Cruz said in the release. He adding that he and wife Rima Brusi, an anthropologist and educator, were looking forward to joining the Lumberjack family and serving the community.

The other finalist was Bret Danilowicz, provost and vice president of academic affairs at Florida Atlantic University.

Outgoing university President Rita Cheng announced last year that she would not seek a contract extension for the position she’s held since 2014. Her deal runs through June 30 and has an annual base salary of $475,000.

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Regents choose Jose Luis Cruz as NAU’s next president