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Navy, Institution Leadership Establish Naval Postgraduate School Community Focus Groups

Article By: Kenneth A. Stewart

Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Manpower and Reserve Affairs (ASN M&RA) Juan M. Garcia joined Naval Postgraduate School (NPS) Interim President Rear Adm. Jan E. Tighe in welcoming local community leadership onto campus in an effort to foster improved cooperation, Dec. 19.

The gathering was the first of several scheduled community focus group meetings in response to a directive from Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus just a week prior designed to strengthen ties between the prestigious military graduate school and the regional community.

"The Secretary of the Navy has a deep appreciation for the long relationship between the Naval Postgraduate School and the Monterey Peninsula,” said Garcia. “These focus groups will allow for direct and persistent lines of communication between the Navy, NPS and local community leaders."

Tighe expressed appreciation that Assistant Secretary Garcia was able to participate in these initial discussions, and agreed with the importance of them in moving forward.

"I am grateful that Assistant Secretary Garcia has been willing to reach out to our local community leaders to learn about their perspectives on NPS and our role in the greater Monterey community,” said Tighe. “These discussions will help to shape the way ahead and ensure Naval Postgraduate School's future success. His presence here is a testament to the importance of the institution to the Navy."

Garcia thanked community leaders for their support and recognized their concerns. NPS has been a staple on the Monterey Peninsula for generations, and its community and economic impact is important to the region’s well being.

"Having multiple focus groups, incorporating leaders from local government, business and educational organizations, will ensure the institution has a clear understanding of the region's priorities and concerns as we move forward,” said Garcia. “I believe all of those involved have the utmost respect for NPS, and we greatly value the input the community is providing."

As the initial focus group got underway, Tighe stressed this initial meeting was only the beginning, and that the input regional leaders provide will be very valuable to not only herself, but to senior leaders back in the Pentagon.

"As we move forward, I will continue to be in close contact with Assistant Secretary Garcia, and the input these community officials and leaders provide will be an important piece of the puzzle as we work to strengthen this invaluable institution," she noted.

Additional community focus groups have already been scheduled in early 2013, and will continue moving forward. The Naval Postgraduate School, established in 1909, is a prestigious, accredited institution, providing highly-relevant, defense-focused graduate education and research programs designed to improve the combat effectiveness of the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps, other uniformed services, and those of our allied partners.

Posted December 19, 2012

 Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Manpower and Reserve Affairs (ASN M&RA) Juan M. Garcia and NPS Interim President Rear Adm. Jan E. Tighe walk to a community focus group meeting held on the university campus, Dec. 19. The gathering was the first of several scheduled meetings in hopes of strengthening ties between the university and the regional community.

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