The chancellor of Southern Illinois University has been named as the sole finalist in the search for the next president of Northern Arizona University.

The Arizona Board of Regents announced the selection of Rita Cheng on Friday at its meeting in Flagstaff.

Board Chairman Rick Myers says the regents will vote soon to approve the selection. Cheng is expected to be at NAU's main campus in Flagstaff next week.

A search committee had been evaluating dozens of candidates to succeed John Haeger, who planned to retire when his contract expires in June 2015. Haeger saID he'll return to NAU later as a professor in higher education leadership and governance.

The university has a budget of $460 million and serves more than 26,000 students at campuses across the state and online.