YUMA, Ariz. – Yuma Mayor Douglas Nicholls called together the inaugural Board of Directors (Board) for the Yuma Multiversity Campus (YMC) on April 26, 2019, to begin discussing a project to bring a multiversity campus to Yuma to serve as an education hub for existing institutions of higher education and respective degrees offered.
Mayor Nicholls and the City of Yuma applied for and received grants in the amount of $50,000 from the Arizona Community Foundation’s Fund for the Common Good grant and $50,000 from Arizona Public Service Corporate Giving grant to begin planning for the YMC. These funds will be utilized to support the following: the recruitment and hiring of the YMC’s Executive Director, the establishment of an educational steering committee and a community committee to work alongside the Executive Director and Board, and the establishment a nonprofit corporation that will ultimately own and operate the multiversity campus.
“The vision is that the YMC will serve as a brick-and-mortar center where state universities and colleges can offer a full range of bachelor degree programs right here in our very own Yuma, where the YMC can expand on the incredible work and pace set by Arizona Western College (AWC) and state universities to make higher education more accessible,” Mayor Nicholls said. “It will also create opportunities to strengthen the local industry, to bridge job creation in the area with accessibility to more academics, and ultimately to offer a better quality of life for Yumans.”
The Board discussed bringing community, academic, and industry partners together for complete planning and development that will be key to turn the YMC concept into a reality. Mayor Nicholls has spoken with leaders from the three state universities, who are engaged and supportive of the effort. The next steps include hiring an Executive Director.
Board members include AWC’s Dr. Daniel Corr, Gowan Company’s Jon Jessen, Greater Yuma Economic Development Corporation’s Julie Engel, Yuma Region Medical Center’s Dr. Robert Trenschel, Yuma Center of Excellence in Desert Agriculture’s Paul Brierley, JV Smith’s Victor Smith, and Yuma County Supervisor Russell McCloud.
The long-term impact of a multiversity in Yuma is that it will provide the talent pool needed to attract business to the area to provide much needed employment in the region. Students will gain cutting-edge knowledge and significant educational opportunities to allow for solving scientific problems, creativity, and invention for local companies.
For media inquiries or questions, please contact City Intergovernmental Affairs Coordinator Lucy Valencia and (928) 373-5016 or Lucy.Valencia@YumaAz.gov.