Hobbs adds 2 new members to Arizona Board of Regents, promising transparency, accountability

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Gov. Katie Hobbs appointed two new members to the Arizona Board of Regents on Thursday, saying the move will bring more transparency and accountability to the board after several major personnel shifts.

The governor appointed Liz Archuleta as a representative for Northern Arizona to replace Lyndel Manson, whose eight-year term is ending.

Jadyn Fisher of Northern Arizona University will serve a two-year term as a student regent, replacing Katelyn Rees of the University of Arizona.

The Board of Regents is composed of 10 members who oversee the state’s public university system. Archuleta’s appointment is the first non-student representative Hobbs has added to the board.

All other regents were selected by former Gov. Doug Ducey.

“I am proud to add two outstanding members to the Arizona Board of Regents who share the mission of strengthening higher education for all Arizonans,” said Gov. Hobbs in a news release Thursday.

Board Chair Cecilia Mata welcomed the new appointments, noting Archuleta's background in early childhood education, justice reform and health.

"Her breadth of experience, including her strong partnerships with rural and tribal communities, will no doubt enrich the board’s work. I eagerly anticipate collaborating with her and gaining insights from her unique perspective," Mata said in a statement.

Archuleta is president of the United Way of Northern Arizona and previously served as a Coconino County supervisor. In the announcement, Archuleta described herself as a “fiscally conservative public servant” and a proponent for those with developmental disabilities.

“I am ready to roll up my sleeves and help shape the future of higher education in Arizona,” Archuleta said in the release.

Hobbs has previously criticized the board's oversight, specifically for its handling of the University of Arizona's $162 million budget shortfall. On Thursday, she complemented Archuleta on what she could bring to the table.

“Liz Archuleta brings exceptional expertise in governance, management and budgetary matters to ABOR,” Gov. Hobbs said.

Archuleta hails from Northern Arizona, with strong family ties to Flagstaff. Fisher is an NAU student studying elementary education and is a member of the Honors College. She has served in multiple positions with the Associated Students of NAU.

Mata recently took over as Board of Regents chair from Fred DuVal, who stepped down from the leadership position in February after a public dispute with a UA faculty leader that led to harsh criticism from Hobbs.

DuVal said he would stay on the board until his term ends in 2026.

Executive Director John Arnold took a leave of absence from the board in February to move into a full time role as interim chief financial officer at UA.

Helen Rummel covers higher education for The Arizona Republic. Reach her at hrummel@azcentral.com. Follow her on X, formerly Twitter: @helenrummel.

This article originally appeared on Arizona Republic: Liz Archuleta, Jadyn Fisher named to Arizona Board of Regents