President Hart: Spring Semester Brings Successes and Transitions

President Hart: Spring Semester Brings Successes and Transitions

By President Ann Weaver Hart
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Dave Heeke speaks during a news conference with President Ann Weaver Hart. (Photo by Stan Liu/Arizona Athletics)
Dave Heeke speaks during a news conference with President Ann Weaver Hart. (Photo by Stan Liu/Arizona Athletics)
Arizona NOW, the UA's fundraising campaign, celebrated its successful conclusion in February.
Arizona NOW, the UA's fundraising campaign, celebrated its successful conclusion in February.

I hope that the first half of the semester has gone well for all of you, and I hope you are looking forward to spring break. We have had several wonderful events and a great deal of exciting news recently, and I would like to share a few examples:

  • In January, we had the news that four out of five Bisgrove Scholars for 2017 are from the UA. Science Foundation Arizona awards $200,000 each to in-state faculty members to encourage innovative work in science and engineering, and is an important means of keeping talented researchers here in our state.
  • On Feb. 10, the UA Foundation held a celebration of Arizona NOW at the Lowell-Stevens Football Facility. The event brought together UA supporters, staff, faculty and students to mark the successful completion of the campaign, which surpassed its $1.5 billion goal in December.
  • On Feb. 22, the UA announced an agreement with Adobe to become the first Adobe Creative Campus in the western U.S., which means all UA students will have access to important visual, web and other design tools. You can read more about the program here.
  • Last week, we held a reception for UA faculty members who have earned national and international awards over the past year. UA awardees included several Fulbright Scholars, a Fulbright Specialist, a Guggenheim Fellow and two faculty named to national academies: Nasser Peyghambarian as a fellow of the National Academy of Inventors and Leslie Tolbert as a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
  • In health sciences, we recently celebrated the grand opening of the Biomedical Sciences Partnership Building in Phoenix and the 10th anniversary of the College of Medicine – Phoenix as a separately accredited medical school. The COM-P recently had its site visit from the Liaison Committee on Medical Education for full accreditation, and while we will not know the LCME's decision for several months, I was encouraged by the college's preparations and its potential moving forward.

In addition to these and many other important events and successes, I am sure that all of you know of the transitions that have been occurring on campus. I was very pleased to name Dave Heeke the UA's new athletic director. Many supporters and UA community members came together to help identify Dave as the new leader of Arizona Athletics, and I am thrilled that we have found someone with his talent and experience. I hope you will all join me in giving him a warm welcome when he begins at the UA on April 1.

The UA's new athletic director is of course not the only change that has been in the news of late. As we prepare for a new president, I want to thank all of the UA's faculty, staff and appointed professionals for your professionalism during this important transition. Thanks to your hard work over the past five years, the UA is on a great course for success, with many long-term plans coming to fruition and early promise showing for some new efforts, and I know that I am not alone in looking forward to great things for the University in the years ahead.

Lastly, I know you have all seen the tents going up on the Mall. For those of you who will be in Tucson this weekend, I hope you take some time to attend the Tucson Festival of Books. The festival is such an important event for our community and I am very proud that the UA hosts it and is a partner in its success.

Thank you, as always, for everything you do for the University of Arizona, and have a safe and enjoyable spring break. 

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