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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Shelton to visit campus next week

    Newly hired UA president Robert Shelton, here with his wife, Adrian, on Jan. 28, will return to the UA campus Monday and attend Arizona Board of Regents meetings March 9 and 10.
    Newly hired UA president Robert Shelton, here with his wife, Adrian, on Jan. 28, will return to the UA campus Monday and attend Arizona Board of Regents meetings March 9 and 10.

    The UA won’t be the only thing on Robert Shelton’s mind next week as he makes his first visit since being selected as the next UA president by the Arizona Board of Regents.

    Shelton and his wife, Adrian, will be house-hunting for a Tucson home on top of meeting with various leaders and governing bodies like Gov. Janet Napolitano, state legislators and the board of regents next week.

    “”In general, I’m just excited to have a week where I can focus on the University of Arizona,”” Shelton said.

    On Jan. 27, the board of regents approved Shelton, the provost of the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, to succeed President Peter Likins in July.

    Shelton will be visiting the UA just in time for Saturday’s basketball game against Washington and will be heading back to North Carolina the morning of March 10, he said.

    Speaking about what kind of house he prefers, Shelton said he wants to find a place where he doesn’t have to commute too far to work, and also somewhere he and his wife can entertain guests and accommodate visiting relatives.

    Shelton said he is looking forward to his trip to Tucson because it will be an opportunity for him to become more familiar with his new home and meet people he has only spoken to on the phone .

    “”This is a fun time where I am getting to know the university, and the university is getting to know me,”” Shelton said.

    Besides meeting with regents, Shelton said he will also spend time with Likins.

    Shelton said he wants to “”find out more about (Likins’) impression of the job and the people he works with.””

    Rather than advising the new president, Likins said he will listen to Shelton and his concerns about the UA.

    “”He will share his perspectives, and I will share mine, and ultimately he will run the university as he sees fit,”” Likins said.

    Although Shelton is a “”seriously experienced academic executive,”” Likins said Shelton will have to bring his own “”presidential perspective”” to the UA.

    “”He has to bring his own ideas to the process and be something more than just a continuation of Pete Likins’ administration,”” Likins said. “”That’s built into him, not something I can transfer to him.””

    Likins said he would rather give Shelton an idea of what the job is like in general than tell him how to run the university.

    The position of the UA president is a strenuous one that has a very powerful impact on a person’s life and health, which can definitely take a toll, Likins said.

    “”These jobs are killer jobs – literally,”” Likins said.

    Besides sitting in on meetings, Shelton said he plans to sign his contract for the UA, an event that he said he is very excited about.

    “”I will have my wife take pictures if she’s there,”” he said.

    Ben Graff, voting student regent and former member of the presidential search committee, said when Shelton was visiting campus last month, Graff was impressed with Shelton’s dedication to students.

    Graff said he and members of student government were having pizza at No Anchovies when they saw Shelton walking down the street, attempting to get a “”taste”” of student life.

    “”What we caught him doing was truly trying to absorb the university environment,”” Graff said.

    Graff said he was surprised to see Shelton out and about after such a strenuous interview schedule and was pleased that Shelton was taking the time to walk around one of the more central student areas.

    “”That’s the thing I would encourage (Shelton) to do,”” Graff said. “”Take the pulse of the campus.””

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