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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Likins foresees smooth shift to Shelton

    President Peter Likins addressed concerns about the UA’s presidential transition and the College of Medicine’s Phoenix campus opening in July at a campus town hall Friday.

    Likins, Provost George Davis and Kenneth Ryan, academic affairs dean for the College of Medicine, spoke to faculty, staff and students about the two transitions.

    “”I don’t think there will be a dramatic, radical change in the basic persona in the president’s office, but that does not mean there’ll be no changes in position and strategy,”” Likins said of Robert Shelton becoming the next UA president in July. “”But I don’t think you’ll be shocked by any of the discontinuities in the ways of doing this job.””

    Davis said he is helping Shelton schedule his visits to Arizona, beginning in March, to speak with administrators, including Likins, Fred Boice of the Arizona Board of Regents, and possibly Gov. Janet Napolitano and Arizona legislators.

    “”There is a tendency to want to have him engage in activities that would be timely in July, August and September, once he’s on board,”” Davis said. “”And I think its important to recognize that he has a day job as executive vice chancellor.””

    Shelton is executive vice chancellor at the University of North Carolina- Chapel Hill, a position he wants to complete “”with integrity,”” Davis said.

    Likins said any changes Shelton brings to the UA will take time, and the UA community should be patient for those changes.

    “”This is a long-term game. You’re not going to discover from Robert Shelton in 30

    He will be judged by how he handles his presidency over a period of years, and you need to think that way too.
    — Peter Likins, UA president

    minutes or 30 days what his strategies are for the future,”” Likins said. “”He will be judged by how he handles his presidency over a period of years, and you need to think that way too.””

    Likins also said when he retires as UA president in July, he won’t go very far.

    “”I’ll live in Tucson and put myself in the position of citizen on the sidelines, helping whenever I can,”” Likins said.

    Some faculty said they were concerned that the UA College of Medicine in Phoenix will drain needed resources and funding from the Tucson-based campus.

    Jeanette Ryan, a deputy director for the Arizona Health Sciences Library, said she’s not concerned about Shelton’s transition to president, but she was concerned about the College of Medicine’s Phoenix expansion and what its impact may be in Tucson.

    “”We don’t have the guarantees of funding we’d like to have. We have uncertainty of political perceptions in the legislature and in Phoenix generally,”” Likins said. “”There’s lots and lots of legitimate concerns and anxieties.””

    Likins said he still believes the Phoenix expansion was an opportunity to enhance the UA College of Medicine and he believes it will be beneficial for the UA and the state.

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