Robbins Expected to be Named UA President at ABOR Meeting

Robbins Expected to be Named UA President at ABOR Meeting

By Nick PrevenasUniversity Communications
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Dr. Robert Clayton Robbins (Photo: Jacob Chinn)
Dr. Robert Clayton Robbins (Photo: Jacob Chinn)
The regents will be asked to vote to designate President Ann Weaver Hart as President Emerita and award her the Regents' Medal.
The regents will be asked to vote to designate President Ann Weaver Hart as President Emerita and award her the Regents' Medal.
The Bear Down Student Success District will be a comprehensive combination of facilities and programs to address needs in student health, wellness and academic success.
The Bear Down Student Success District will be a comprehensive combination of facilities and programs to address needs in student health, wellness and academic success.

The Arizona Board of Regents is expected to approve the appointment of Dr. Robert Clayton Robbins as the 22nd president of the University of Arizona at this week's meeting at the Student Union Memorial Center.

The regents announced Robbins as the sole finalist on March 7 after a special board meeting at the Phoenix Biomedical Campus. Robbins' multiple-year employment contract is expected to be finalized on Friday, with a news conference scheduled for immediately following the ABOR meeting in the Student Union's Grand Ballroom.

Robbins has served as president and CEO of the Texas Medical Center since 2012. Under Robbins' leadership, TMC has significantly enhanced its commitment to collaboration, introducing five cross-institutional research initiatives centered on innovation, genomics, regenerative medicine, health policy and clinical research.

The regents also will vote Thursday to finalize and sign the transition agreement with UA President Ann Weaver Hart. They also will be asked to vote to designate her as President Emerita and award her the Regents' Medal. Hart, who took office in 2012, implemented the UA's "Never Settle" strategic academic and business plan and oversaw major increases in multidisciplinary research activity and fundraising, among other accomplishments.

There will be a campuswide event honoring President Hart on May 17 from 4:30-6:30 p.m. at Old Main.

Tuition Setting

Also on the agenda is a vote on the base tuition and mandatory fees proposal put forth by the UA on March 17.

For all entering resident and nonresident undergraduate and graduate students in 2017-2018, the UA has proposed a tuition increase of 1 percent and an increase in some mandatory fees. There will be no increase for the 92 percent of current UA undergraduates whose tuition and mandatory fees already were locked in under the University's Guaranteed Tuition Plan.

The UA proposes an increase in mandatory fees for incoming resident undergraduates totaling $350 annually, which will help fund wireless connectivity upgrades, an expansion of campus health services and a variety of retention and career initiatives.

A new annual fee to support athletics programs, facilities and improvement of the student and fan experience will be $100 for incoming undergraduate students and $50 for incoming graduate students. Incoming graduate students will be able to opt out of the fee. Graduate students who choose to pay the fee will receive free admission to all sporting events other than men's basketball. Undergraduate students will receive free admission to all sporting events other than football and men's basketball.

The fee increases will also help fund the Bear Down Student Success District – a comprehensive combination of facilities and programs to address needs in student health, wellness and academic success – and the Honors Village.

The proposed plan for incoming students freezes tuition and mandatory fees at $12,228 for Arizona residents and $35,658 for nonresident undergraduates for eight semesters of continuous enrollment. Current and future graduate students will have their mandatory fees locked in, as well.

For housing, the UA proposes to increase undergraduate student housing fees by an average of 2.7 percent, or about $190 per year.

New Academic Programs

The UA also will propose adding three new academic programs to its academic strategic plan for fall 2017:

  • A Master of Science in cybersecurity – This program, offered jointly by the Department of Management Information Systems in the Eller College of Management and the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering in the College of Engineering, will encompass technical, managerial and ethical perspectives on cybersecurity.
  • A Master of Arts in human rights – The College of Social and Behavioral Sciences will offer this program through UA Online. It is a practice-driven, interdisciplinary graduate program for human rights workers, government personnel and professionals seeking to further their education.
  • A Bachelor of Science in food safety – Offered through the School of Animal and Comparative Biomedical Sciences, part of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, this program addresses the safety of food industries, the Food Safety Modernization Act, foodborne illness outbreaks and increasing public concerns with food safety.

Hi Corbett Field Lease

The UA will ask the board to approve a long-term lease between the UA and the city of Tucson for Hi Corbett Field and related facilities.

Hi Corbett became the official home for UA baseball games in 2012. The team has participated in two College World Series tournaments (2012 and 2016) since the move and won the national championship in 2012.

Under the current lease, the UA pays rent to the city of approximately $262,000 per year, with an agreement to escalate the rent payments periodically starting on Jan. 1, 2018.

The city of Tucson proposes to lease Hi Corbett to the UA for 25 years, with two five-year extension options, for a rent payment of $10 per year. Under the proposed lease, the UA will have exclusive use and occupancy of Hi Corbett Field and all associated offices and buildings, as well as exclusive rights to 678 parking spaces immediately adjacent to Hi Corbett.

The UA will continue to receive all revenues from concession sales at Hi Corbett, while assuming responsibility for all maintenance, repairs and replacements within the facility for the duration of the lease.

Regents' Professors

The UA has nominated the following faculty members for the title of Regents' Professor:

  • Pham Huu Tiep, College of Science, Department of Mathematics. A rising star in the field of mathematics, Tiep recently contributed to solving the 60-year-old Ore conjecture alongside professors from New Zealand, London and Jerusalem.
  • Hoshin Gupta, College of Science, Department of Hydrology and Atmospheric Sciences. Gupta has tackled some of the most fundamental challenges found in hydrologic modeling throughout his career. His work within his field and across disciplines has contributed to enhanced understanding of hydrologic and economic models in support of decision-making and policy analysis.
  • Alison Hawthorne Deming, College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, Department of English. Deming combines a strong interest in science with her own talents as a writer, which have led to highly acclaimed works such as "The Colours of Nature: Essays on Culture, Identity and the Natural World" and "The Edges of the Civilized World," as well as many well-regarded works of poetry.

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