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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Brewer’s chief of staff named finalist for position as regents’ president

Brewers chief of staff named finalist for position as regents president

The chief of staff for Gov. Jan Brewer has been offered the position of president of the Arizona Board of Regents.

The regents’ Presidential Search Committee named Eileen Klein as a finalist for the position and authorized contract negotiations to begin, according to a news release from the board.

When regents invited Klein to participate in the selection process following Tom Anderes’ decision to step down in late July, she said it provided the perfect way to complement her economic recovery work in the governor’s office and to continue building a stronger future for the state.

“I see this opportunity at ABOR as being the chance to really go in and work with a very distinguished group of committed leaders on advancing our state’s higher education system,” Klein said.

Klein has served as Brewer’s chief of staff since fall 2009, helping to oversee the day-to-day operations of the state government and execute Brewer’s agenda and working closely with the cabinet to make sure the state is running effectively.

“I think it’s just a passion for solving the big problems that governments try to solve,” Klein said. “I have always been interested in those challenges and how to make life better for people through the efficient use of government resources.”

Klein said that if she becomes the board’s president, she will focus her attention on ensuring there are enough degrees in the right areas to meet the workforce need of the state, as well as working to attract research dollars.

“We also have to be very focused on how we make sure opportunities for students stay affordable and attainable so they can complete their degrees in a reasonable amount of time and that they can afford to complete their education,” Klein said.

The president of the board serves as the “glue” that holds the three state university presidents together, and the four of them cooperate so the universities are the best they can be and the state is the best it can be, said Rick Myers, the board’s chairman.

“Our feeling is Eileen is an established and experienced senior executive, she has great experience in health care, in government, and we believe she’s the perfect complement to our three university presidents,” Myers said, “and that the four of them are just going to be a fantastic team.”

Now that Klein has been selected as a finalist, she has received a contract and information about the position. There are high hopes that Klein will take the position, Myers said.

“I’m really very deeply honored,” Klein said. “This is a very significant role and I was very honored to have the support and the confidence of the board. I’m looking forward to continuing this conversation with them and seeing where we wind up.”

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