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Ann Weaver Hart to leave position as UA president in 2018

Tom Price
UA President Ann Weaver Hart addresses the ABOR at the UA Student Union on Thursday, Nov. 19, 2015.

President Ann Weaver Hart will not ask the Arizona Board of Regents to renew her contract with
the university, according to a Regents press release and an email she sent to UA employees Friday afternoon.

The emails

In the email, she wrote she intends to complete her tenure as president, which
ends in 2018, and return as a full-time faculty member. 

“The Arizona Board of Regents emphasized their strong
support for President Hart’s decision,” according to the Regents’ press release.

What campus leaders have to say about Hart’s decision

Zachary Brooks, president of the Graduate and Professional Student Council, said he remembers Hart’s first day on campus when she drove up to the administration building to a crowd of people.

“It was a really exciting moment to have a new president—she came in with a lot of good ideas and energy,” Brooks said.

He said from her work with the medical schools to the strategic plan, Hart has made some huge accomplishments in her time at the UA, and that we should be happy and wish her well.

“I think it’d be easy to talk about moments that people aren’t happy about, but at this moment, that was a chapter in our history and we’re probably better for it,” Brooks said.

Brooks said regardless of who the president is, the university has a strong legacy and will continue to do great things.

“Just because she’s leaving doesn’t mean she’s not still going to fight for students and enact change,” said Michael Finnegan, president of the Associated Students of the University of Arizona.

Finnegan said while it’s unfortunate to see her go, Hart has accomplished a lot for the university with all she’s done with guaranteed tuition and working with federal and state governments.

“When it comes to picking a new president, it will be really cool to see who’s going to be coming next and how a new president can address the issues that have been hot topics in the last few years,” said Finnegan. “We’re just going to see how much student involvement we can get in the process—hopefully more than ever before.” will update this story as more information becomes available. Read President Hart’s full letter and the Regent’s press release below.

The full text of Hart’s letter to UA employees:

Dear colleagues:

I wanted you to know that I have decided not to request an extension of my current contract with the Board of Regents but to complete my tenure as president of the University of Arizona at the end of academic year 2018 and return to the full time faculty. The regents have been supportive and helpful in discussions with me about my wishes, and we are united in our enthusiasm about the future of the University of Arizona.

During this spring’s commencement ceremony, I was struck with the realization that I was presiding over my 14th commencement as a university president. I was filled with pride in the University of Arizona and in all that we have accomplished and will accomplish in the years ahead. Now is the time to plan for the future that we spoke about with such enthusiasm to our graduates.

This is a natural choice and one that all of us must make some time in our lives. I am excited for the years ahead working on behalf of this great university.

To all of you: Thank you so much for your past, present, and future contributions to the University of Arizona and BEAR DOWN.

Ann Weaver Hart


University of Arizona

The full text of the Arizona Board of Regents’ press release:

ABOR Announces UA
President Ann Weaver Hart’s Decision To Not Seek Contract Extension

(Phoenix, Ariz.) – The Arizona Board of Regents today
announced that President Ann Weaver Hart has provided notice of her decision
not to seek an extension to her current contract as President of the University
of Arizona.

“During the 2016 commencement ceremony at the University
of Arizona on May 13, I was struck with the realization that I was presiding
over my 14th spring commencement as a university president, even as I was
filled with pride in the University of Arizona. I look forward to returning to
full-time faculty work as a teacher, scholar, and citizen of the University. I
will dedicate my remaining time as President to continue to implement the major
changes encompassed in the Never Settle strategic plan, shape a new vision and
renewal for the University of Arizona honors program, solidify and strength the
Academic Affiliation Agreement with Banner Health, and complete the Arizona NOW
$1.5 billion fund-raising campaign.” The Arizona Board of Regents
emphasized their strong support for President Hart’s decision and their
commitment to the continued success of the University of Arizona. On behalf of
ABOR, Chairman Jay Heiler stated, “President Hart has conferred with me and
others throughout the spring regarding her plans and her contract. The decision
not to seek an extension is hers, and true to her character she has made it in
full consideration of both her personal aspirations and her institutional

Heiler said the board will continue working with President
Hart and her executive leadership team around the key institutional objectives
already set. “After some time for strategic review we expect to devise and
begin the search for her successor sometime in the fall.” The Board will
conduct a comprehensive nation-wide search for President Hart’s replacement.
President Eileen Klein stated, “We are confident that this thoughtful and
systematic succession plan will facilitate maximum success for the University
as it continues to grow and develop as a premiere, public, super land-grant
research university. We look forward to working with Dr. Hart during this
transition to assure the university’s continued success.”

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