Northern Arizona University — President

Northern Arizona University
Search for the 17th President

The Arizona Board of Regents seeks the next president for Northern Arizona University (NAU) – a consummate leader with the ability to make a lasting contribution to the university’s continued success and the capacity to serve as a tireless champion, innovator and visionary on behalf of the university. 

For a full brochure on the NAU Presidential Search, including information about NAU, Northern Arizona and desired leadership characteristics for the next president, please visit Following is overview information.

Northern Arizona University
Northern Arizona University is built on an enduring legacy focused on student success from the onset of the university’s founding 120 years ago. Home of the fiercely proud Lumberjacks, NAU today has emerged as a leader in education, sustainability, science, business, the hospitality industry, allied health, green building and cultural arts. NAU is a distinctive, residential, undergraduate focused, access oriented, comprehensive university grounded in teaching and scholarship, with excellence in targeted graduate and research programs tied to its unique history and place. The university offers more than 180 undergraduate and graduate degree programs, many ranked nationally and boasts many top 20 rankings for academic degrees and programs, including: best hospitality college, best for veterans, best college for a bachelor’s degree in public health, one of the best forestry schools in the nation, best dental hygiene school and more. NAU’s location on the Colorado Plateau, in one of the highest ranked college towns in the country, among the mountains, forests, high desert, national parks, as well as its longstanding working relationships with Indigenous peoples and sovereign Native Nations make NAU a true jewel of the Southwest.

NAU is a major economic driver throughout Arizona, generating more than $2.6 billion annually for the state’s economy while training the workforce of the future. The university contributes more than 24,000 jobs throughout the state and serves as an educational and economic anchor for Northern Arizona. Committed to local and rural communities, NAU brings education to students where they live through 20 statewide sites. For more information on Northern Arizona University, please visit 

NAU’s Next President
NAU’s next president must have a keen understanding of the numerous academic, business and other opportunities and challenges facing NAU and higher education. This individual will possess the ability to lead an exceptional faculty, administrative team and nearly 30,000 students in taking the university to new heights. 

The board seeks a candidate with a sincere commitment to NAU, including its dedication to student success; excellence in academics; research; intercollegiate athletics; development; and alumni. The position requires a candidate with outstanding interpersonal and collaboration skills necessary to cultivate and strengthen relationships with multiple stakeholders including students and faculty, alumni, members of the broader community, affiliates, policymakers, business partners and more to support NAU’s mission and Arizona’s public university enterprise. 

The candidate must be able to develop a clear vision for the university and possess the ability to implement that vision in today’s changing higher education market. The president is responsible for maintaining high visibility within the region and the state, and for working in collaboration with Arizona’s community colleges, governmental and industry leaders, and Native American tribes. The president is expected to be the chief spokesperson and fundraiser for NAU. 

The next President will possess:

  • A reputation for open and honest communication and dialogue that engenders trust among constituencies.
  • Knowledge of and experience in addressing the complex strategic, financial and resource issues facing institutions of higher education positioned similarly to NAU.
  • A commitment to the board-identified mission of the university, including its dedication to undergraduate focused education with world-class research in targeted areas of identified strengths and a commitment to serving Arizona.
  • The skills and experience necessary to work effectively with NAU’s fiduciary governing board.
  • A record of commitment, advocacy and success in advancing diversity, equity and inclusion (e.g., recruitment and retention of diverse faculty and staff; infusion of diversity and inclusive teaching practices into the curriculum; and promotion of a work environment that is inclusive and collegial for all faculty, staff and students) with a commitment to creating an inclusive environment and closing equity gaps for underrepresented populations.
  • Academic credentials, including an earned terminal degree, and experience comparable to a tenured faculty member and leadership at a university, although exceptional candidates with outstanding executive experience and achievements outside of academia will also be considered.
  • Demonstrated ability to develop, maintain and inspire an executive leadership team to innovate for future success.
  • A demonstrated ability to listen and communicate in an authentic and genuine manner in both formal and informal settings, with empathy, respect and compassion.

Application and Nomination Process
The Search Advisory Committee will begin reviewing applications immediately and will continue to accept applications and nominations until the position is filled. Applicants must submit a current curriculum vitae/resume and a cover letter describing relevant experience and interest in the position. Submission of materials via e-mail is strongly encouraged. Nominations should include the contact information of the nominee. 

Applications and letters of nomination should be submitted to:

Alberto Pimentel, Managing Partner
Will Gates, Partner
Storbeck/Pimentel & Associates
6512 Painter Avenue
Whittier, CA 90601
Refer to code “NAU-President” in subject line