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University Presidents Present COVID-19 Update To League Of Arizona Cities And Towns

The presidents of Arizona’s public universities gave an update on their response to the COVID-19 pandemic at a virtual conference of the League of Arizona Cities and Towns on Monday. 

Northern Arizona University President Rita Cheng said the university’s IT team has been working to bolster technology infrastructure on the Navajo Nation to help students and community members stay connected.

“In partnership with a number of telecommunications companies, NAU has helped establish more than 30 W-Fi hotspots in tribal communities that provide crucial internet access,” Cheng said.

Cheng said NAU is projecting a revenue shortfall of $100 million for this fiscal year.

University of Arizona president Robert Robbins said UA developed and deployed an antibody test that has been used for government employees at a high risk of exposure. Robbins said 40 medical students opted to graduate early to help with the shortage of health care workers.

Arizona State University President Michael Crow said the universities are providing essential services to help the nation recover from the pandemic.

“If you want our economy to get back on track we’re going to have to produce nurses and teachers and engineers and business specialists and accountants and all the other things that we produce,” Crow said.

Crow said the universities should remain flexible and willing to change as the state and country move forward.

→  Get The Latest News On COVID-19 In Arizona 

Jimmy Jenkins was a producer and senior field correspondent at KJZZ from 2014 to 2021.