Here's What Happened While You Were Away
Those lucky enough to escape the Southern Arizona heat for part or all of the summer will notice that parts of campus look a little different.
To get you up to speed, here's a rundown of changes that happened over the summer, including new leaders, new buildings, new names, new eateries on and off campus, and some completed renovations.
Two new senior vice presidents and two new deans joined the UA over the summer. A third new dean was appointed over the summer and will begin in the fall.
Liesl Folks, a leader in inclusiveness in STEM fields, became senior vice president for academic affairs and provost in late July. Folks was most recently dean of the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences at the University of Buffalo. While there, she built a reputation for recruiting women and people from underrepresented groups into the school's programs.
In her new role, Folks oversees student success efforts and all academic operations for the UA. She is also responsible for creating and implementing programs that align with the UA's strategic plan.
Elizabeth R. "Betsy" Cantwell joined the UA in late July as senior vice president for research and innovation. She was previously the chief executive officer of ASURE, or Arizona State University Research Enterprise, a nonprofit organization that aims to advance ASU's applied research and development. Before that, she served as ASU's vice president for research development.
Cantwell oversees the Office of Research, Discovery and Innovation, where her responsibilities include expanding the UA's capacity for knowledge creation and discovery, helping bring UA inventions and technologies to the marketplace, and spearheading industry and public partnerships.
Dr. Michael M.I. Abecassis was appointed dean of the College of Medicine – Tucson in mid-July and will assume the role in early November. Abecassis is the J. Roscoe Miller Distinguished Professor of Surgery and Microbiology-Immunology at the Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University. He also is chief of the Division of Organ Transplantation and founding director of the Comprehensive Transplant Center at Northwestern.
David Hahn was appointed dean of the College of Engineering in April and began July 1. Hahn, a mechanical engineer who specializes in thermal sciences and laser-based diagnostics, was chair of the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at the University of Florida. Hahn said he aims to foster diversity and provide hands-on learning opportunities for the UA College of Engineering's undergraduates. Read more about his vision for the college in this LQP story.
Ida M. "Ki" Moore became the permanent dean of the College of Nursing on July 1 after serving for 10 months as interim dean. Moore, who has been at the UA since 1988, is the college's Anne Furrow Endowed Professor and a long-standing member of the UA Cancer Center. Her 25 years of research experience primarily involves investigating the impact of central nervous system-directed cancer treatment for pediatric acute lymphoblastic leukemia and brain tumors.
Student Success District
Construction continues on the Student Success District, which aims to integrate and revitalize student services in four central campus buildings: the Main Library, the Albert B. Weaver Science-Engineering Library, Bear Down Gymnasium, and the new Student Success Building.
The foundation for the Student Success Building, immediately south of Bear Down Gymnasium, took shape over the summer. Workers made openings for new entrances on the east side of the Weaver Library and on the west and north sides of the Main Library.
On the ground floor of the Main Library, demolition has begun to make way for a new staircase and some renovated rooms are nearing completion.
Library renovations began in December 2018. The Main Library will be completed in spring 2020, and the Albert B. Weaver Science-Engineering Library renovations will be finished next summer. Main Library hours and Weaver Library hours are not changing during the construction work.
"The renovations will create state-of-the-art spaces and services that empower all UA students to learn collaboratively through hands-on experiences with a variety of technologies," says University Libraries Dean Shan Sutton.
CATalyst Studios, the new makerspace in the Main Library, is scheduled to open in early 2020.
"We've embraced universal design principles to ensure these learning experiences are accessible to every student," Sutton says.
The new Student Success Building is scheduled for completion in fall 2020, and Bear Down Gymnasium is expected to be finished in late 2021.
The Main Library and Weaver Library remain open during Student Success District construction.
For nine other things you should know about the libraries, check out this article on the University Libraries website.
The Honors Village is welcoming students this fall.
The village will provide the more than 1,000 students in the Honors College with a comprehensive living and learning community near the intersection of Mabel Street and Fremont Avenue, north of Speedway Boulevard. The village includes suite-style rooms and apartments, a dining hall, study lounges and classrooms.
An adjacent recreation center, called NorthREC, opened Monday. A parking garage next to NorthREC provides 370 spaces.
Student Union Changes
Frequent shoppers at the U-Mart in the Student Union Memorial Center will find that the store has been transformed into Arizona Market.
The new store will offer much of the same convenience-store fare, with the addition of hot and cold food bars offering healthier options such as yogurt, cage-free eggs, hot sandwiches and salads. A new farmer's market section includes fresh fruits and vegetables.
Additionally, upgrades to the Student Union's Grand Ballroom made the space more inclusive by replacing the stairs on either end of the stage with ramps. Now, anyone who approaches the stage, such as awardees being recognized during a convocation ceremony, can use the same route whether they're walking, using a wheelchair, or any other means of mobility. Read more about the changes in this LQP story.
Park Student Union Becoming UA Global Center
Work began this summer on the Park Student Union, which will become the UA Global Center. The center, which will be the new home for UA Global, will serve as a destination for international students and provide an inclusive gathering space for students, faculty and staff.
The first phase of the renovation was completed on Tuesday. That phase includes new space for the International Student Services, UA Study Abroad, International Admissions, International Faculty and Scholars, Global Travel, and U.S. passports offices. These offices are now located in various areas across campus.
Second and third phases, expected to be completed in summer 2020, will include more UA Global services and offices, an international food court and market, and exterior building and grounds renovations.
Arizona Student Media, which was in PSU, moved to the third floor of the University Services Building.
Restaurants in PSU will remain open during construction.
Department Name Changes
Two departments in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences announced name changes in early July. The department previously known as the Department of Soil, Water and Environmental Science has become the Department of Environmental Science. The Department of Agricultural Education is now the Department of Agricultural Education, Technology and Innovation.
Jon Chorover, head of the Department of Environmental Science, said the name was changed, in part, to make the program more recognizable and easier to find for students interested in studying environmental science. The change also eliminates redundancy, as soil and water are part of the environment.
The Department of Agricultural Education, Technology and Innovation name change "more clearly and cohesively conveys the departmental emphasis on innovation in teaching, leadership, and professional practices in agriculture and life sciences," the department said in announcing the change.
UA Health Sciences Campus
Completed in June, the Health Sciences Innovation Building is a nine-story building that provides collaborative spaces for students and faculty in medicine, nursing, pharmacy and public health programs. The 220,000-square-foot building includes classrooms, clinical skills training space, an auditorium and a café.
Construction continues on the College of Pharmacy's Skaggs Pharmaceutical Sciences Center, where renovations and an addition to the building will provide new research lab facilities. The changes will help the college grow and adapt to the changing pharmaceutical fields.
The work on the building, at the corner of East Mabel Street and North Warren Avenue, is scheduled to be completed in early 2020.
Main Gate Square
Main Gate Square welcomed a new restaurant over the summer and another is expected to open soon.
The Blind Pig, a Cajun-style dry-rub barbecue and seafood restaurant, opened Aug. 19 at 943 E. University Blvd., in the location formerly occupied by The Fix, a macaroni-and-cheese restaurant that closed in late April. The Blind Pig includes a full bar.
Located around the corner is Bacio, an Italian restaurant that is expected to open on Sept. 1, taking the place of Red's Smokehouse and Tap Room. Bacio will offer a full bar and a gelato bar.
Construction continues on a 14-story building just east of the Tucson Marriott University Park that will have a hotel, apartments, and dining and retail spaces. Second Street between Park and Tyndall avenues is closed to vehicle traffic due to the work. The hotel is expected to open in the fall of 2020, said Jane McCollum, the general manager for the Marshall Foundation, which owns properties in Main Gate Square.
The Tucson Marriott University Park also is undergoing renovations, which are expected to be completed by October, McCollum said. All of the hotel rooms and the common areas of the hotel, including conference rooms, are being updated.
Cat Tran Upgrades
Members of the campus community who regularly ride the purple and green Cat Tran shuttle routes will be pleasantly surprised when climbing aboard this fall.
Parking & Transportation Services has begun replacing older Cat Tran buses with new models that offer smoother rides with less noise, front boarding for wheelchair users and monitors that display upcoming stops.
Many of the fleet's 22 shuttles were more than a decade old. The new shuttles were funded in part by rate increases to some parking permits.
Kenya Johnson, director of marketing, communications and events in University Libraries, contributed to this article.