Visiting Prescott, Ariz. on Monday, University of Arizona President Ann Weaver Hart met with various constituent groups to better understand business and industry needs for talent, and to identify ways to expand current partnerships and launch new synergistic partnerships.

"Prescott is an important part of the state of Arizona," Hart said during her visit, adding that the UA also carries a strong impact in the state, especially related to being responsive to statewide business and community needs. "At the University of Arizona, we hold deeply our responsibility as the original land-grant university."

During her two-day visit, Hart met with Yavapai College President Penny Wills, students and staff and toured the campus; she also met with Yavapai County extension supporters and several elected and government officials.

While touring the Yavapai College campus, Hart emphasized why the UA must partner closely with institutions like Yavapai College, which maintains several campuses in the Northern Arizona region, serving more 11,600 students annually.

"There are so many things we can do together in addition to the important efforts we are already pursuing in the life sciences and agriculture," Hart said. "There are great opportunities for Yavapai College and UA students."

Hart and Wills both noted that each of their institutions is working to expand student enrollment and graduation rates, particularly in ways that open up more degree path options for Arizona's students.

Such endeavors, Hart said, are essential to "tapping into the extensive talent base" within Yavapai College and elsewhere in the state.

Also while in Prescott on Monday, Hart presented the University's newly developed strategic plan, "Never Settle," to alumni groups, government officials, business leaders and others during a UA Alumni Association-sponsored event.

"Never Settle" signals a bold commitment to student success, innovation and economic development. One exciting component of the plan is ensuring that 100 percent of students have opportunities to apply what they learn in the classroom through internships, faculty-led research projects and volunteer programs.

Hart said the establishment of land-grant institutions was a "visionary move that fundamentally shaped the 20th century." Now, she and others are positioning the UA, within the spirit of the land-grant mission, to coordinate and concentrate on statewide efforts that will continue to advance that legacy.

"Our focus is ensuring that we have a shared direction for the future of our great state," Hart said. "We believe we live in a world that is interdependent, and that the synergies we create today will help each of us be more successful."

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