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Yuma Multiversity Moves Closer to Reality

Victor Calderón/KAWC
Jim Schueesler, president and CEO of Yuma Multiversity Campus, Inc., speaks to reporters on Wednesday, May 5, 2021 at the Greater Yuma Economic Development Corporation office in Yuma.

Efforts to create a Yuma Multiversity, an educational hub for existing institutions of higher education to offer their various degree programs in one location, got a boost Wednesday with new funding. 


The Greater Yuma Economic Development Corporation announced grant funding at a press conference from the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration to support efforts to increase local higher education access and increase degree attainment. 


GYEDC secured about $110,000 in funding from the EDA and received another $25,000 from the Arizona Community Foundation and $10,000 from Yuma Regional Medical Center. 


Jim Schuessler is the president and chief executive officer for Yuma Multiversity Campus, Inc. He says the plan is to continue to work with local officials for the University of Arizona, Arizona State University and Northern Arizona University, while respecting the course offerings at Arizona Western College. Ultimately, the multiversity idea would fill in any gaps for educational offerings not available in Yuma County at this time.


“One of the challenges that we find with our population that goes on to continuing education is they’re forced to leave the area because the things they want to do aren’t available here,” Schuessler said.


Collaborating with the Yuma Multiversity Campus Corporation, the funds will support a third-party study and assessment of the present and future workforce needs of the region. 


Paul Brierley, executive director of the Yuma Center of Excellence for Desert Agriculture, said he supports the multiversity campus and what it can bring to the local ag industry.

Lou grew up in Tucson and has a long family history in the state of Arizona. He began his public radio career in 1988 at KNAU in Flagstaff as a classical music DJ and has been hooked on public radio since, transitioning to news after trying his hand at several other careers in publishing and commercial broadcasting. Lou has a degree in American Studies from Arizona State University and was KAWC's Morning Edition host for two and half years before becoming News and Operations Director.
Victor is originally from West Sacramento, California and has lived in Arizona for more than five years. He began his print journalism career in 2004 following his graduation from Georgetown University in Washington D.C. Victor has been a reporter for the following daily newspapers: The Monterey County Herald, The Salinas Californian and the Reno Gazette-Journal, where he covered stories including agriculture, education and Latino community news. Victor has also served as a local editor for Patch, a national news organization with hyperlocal websites, in Carmichael, California in the Sacramento area. He also served as the editor for The New Vision, the newspaper for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Tucson, which includes Yuma and La Paz counties. Victor lives in Somerton. He enjoys spending time with his family and friends and following most sports.
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