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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Regents President Eileen Klein calls Hart’s DeVry position ‘a distraction’

Sam Gross

Arizona Board of Regents President, Eileen Klein addresses the regents on April 7 at the UA. Klein recently showed her displeasure with Hart’s position with the DeVry Education Group. 

Read an updated version of this story here

Some members of the Arizona Board of Regents may be concerned over the public’s perception of UA President Ann Weaver Hart’s position on the board of the for-profit DeVry Education Group.

Regents President Eileen Klein said that while she doesn’t believe Hart’s job with DeVry will be a conflict of interest with her position at the UA, Hart’s decision “clearly conflicts with current public perceptions about her primary role and responsibilities” as UA president, according to an April 9 email Klein sent to Regent Jay Heiler that was obtained through a public records request by the Arizona Daily Star.

“As much as I stand by [Hart’s] right to make this decision, I cannot ignore that her decision is creating a distraction and a risk, not just to the university but to the system. It is also impacting the public’s perception of our leadership,” Klein wrote in the email obtained by the Arizona Daily Star.

Read more: Faculty-headed petition against President Hart gaining steam.

Klein further added that she did not want to do anything that would cause the people to lose faith in the state public universities.

In an earlier email from March 10 obtained by the Arizona Daily Star, Klein wrote she did not question Hart’s commitment to the UA, and that the UA’s brand “hardly will be undone” by her decision to work with DeVry.

“While I don’t think a post hoc review of this particular decision is warranted, further review by the board about its notice and approval process is welcome to ensure we are operating unequivocally in the interest of the public and the students we serve,” Klein wrote in the March 10 email.

Yet, in an April 11 email obtained by the Arizona Daily Star that Klein sent out to the regents, she mentioned a statement that she wrote would be issued soon. In the statement, Klein wrote she thinks that Hart’s decision “warrants reconsideration.

Regent Bill Ridenour responded to Klein’s email with an email saying that the regents “need to ratchet up pressure,” and that he thought Klein should also express individual board members were concerned as well.

Ridenour could not be reached for comment at this time.

Hart’s contract states her first priority is her president position at the UA, according to Regent Rick Myers, but regent policy allows her to participate in activities outside of the university.

“I and the rest of the board are committed to working with her to continue to better U of A,” Myers wrote in an email to the Daily Wildcat. “Dr. Hart has continued challenges in meeting the goals of the Never Settle plan and I look forward to her accomplishments along the way.”

Requests for comment from other representatives of the regents were not answered by press time.

See the Arizona Daily Star’s original story here.

Follow Ava Garcia on Twitter.

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