Arizona Board of Regents President Eileen Klein announced Monday, March 26 that she will step down after serving in the position for five years.
In a post on the regents’ website, Klein said that she is leaving the board to explore other options in her career, and that she is proud of what the regents and universities have accomplished.
“Working side by side with regents, our university presidents, our students and countless business, philanthropic and community leaders across Arizona," she said. "Together we have unified our public universities with a plan that puts students squarely at the center of our work. In doing so, it is no surprise that our outcomes in both quantity and quality continue to increase.”
Klein wrote of the university system’s accomplishments during her time as president that encompass competitiveness and economic impact.
“By virtually every measure, these institutions of higher learning are more competitive and successful than ever,” Klein said. “Graduation rates are up. So is student success and diversity.”
Klein also boasted of the economic impacts of Arizona’s public universities.
“Our university campuses are economic hubs for the state,” Klein wrote.
Recognizing that there is still more work to be done, Klein said Arizona can take pride in its public universities.
“The people of Arizona can take great pride in our universities, which are among the finest in the world,” Klein said. “These universities belong to the people of this state. They are part of our rich history and are fundamental to the growth of our state and the prosperity of future generations.”
In a written statement, regents chair Bill Ridenour expressed gratitude for Klein’s work.
“I am deeply appreciative of President Eileen Klein’s leadership over the past five years at the board,” Ridenour said. “Her leadership has been pivotal in advancing the board’s aggressive strategic plan for raising the quality and contributions of our state universities.”
Ridenour also said that Klein made a “lasting difference” to Arizona’s higher education.
“In collaboration with the board and our university presidents, she has repositioned our universities for long-term success,” Ridenour said. “Focused on outcomes, strategic decision-making, long term competitiveness, total transparency and quality assurance.”
In a statement to The Daily Wildcat, University of Arizona President Dr. Robert Robbins wishes Klein 'the best' in her future endeavors.
"President Klein is a tireless advocate for all of Arizona’s public universities and a strong proponent of the life-changing opportunities that come with earning a college degree," Robbins said. "I wish Eileen well in her future endeavors and I look forward to continuing to work with her to advance the quality of life in Arizona."
Klein said after she transitions out of the position in the coming months, she will take time off before deciding her next career move.