NEWS

Robbins confirmed as next UA president

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Rebecca Noble | The Daily Wildcat

The next UA president, Dr. Robert Robbins, speaks during a press conference at the UA College of Medicine-Phoenix on March 7.

Dr. Robert Robbins, was approved for multiple-year employment as the next president of UA at the Arizona Board of Regents meeting April 6. The board approved a base salary of $600,000 plus a $70,000 housing allowance and $10,000 car allowance. They also appointed him the Endowed Presidential Leadership Chair for which he'll receive $200,000 a year.

Robbins' benefits come out to a total of $988,000--more than Arizona State University President Michael Crow and current UA President Ann Weaver Hart.

Robbins spoke about some of his goals, which included doing more with less funding, collaborating with other Arizona universities, and making Arizona a technically advanced state.

"My mandated goal was 'How can I get these powerful institutions to work together, particularly around collaborative research and education?'" Robbins said. "That's another thing I think that the University of Arizona is in a prime position, along with our partners, to make the state of Arizona a real center of innovation and technological advancement."

Regents Vice Chair Bill Ridenour referred to yesterday's tuition discussion when he addressed the new president, making it clear that the president has to work to make sure there are other funds coming in to help with tuition costs.

"The lack of state support in many of these states [affects] how every president of these universities has to become responsible for the public partnerships, the research and in effect becoming a fundraiser," Ridenour said. "The president of the university has a very significant role in tuition. There's a direct correlation against the cost of a president and going out and make sure that there are other funds coming in that help with tuition."

Robbins wants to diversify the sources from which the university gets money, relying not only on state funding, but also on philanthropic fundraising. He also plans to establish contracts and strategic partnerships throughout the industry in the state and across the country.

Overall, the new president spoke on the quality and value of education the university will provide.

"The guiding principle that I have is we have to provide great value to our students," Robbins said. "That means we have to deliver the highest quality education with the best service to our students at the lowest cost that we can provide it. My hope is they will look back and think it was a great return on investment."

Robbins begins his term on June 1.


Follow Rocky Baier on Twitter.



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