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The Daily Wildcat


New cabinet position to focus on UA, ABOR relations

Ryan Revock
Ryan Revock / The Daily Wildcat UA President Ann Weaver Hart answers questions at a town hall meeting that was open to the UA community on April 11, 2013.

UA President Ann Weaver Hart created a new cabinet position last week after the UA’s executive director and vice president of the Executive Office of the President resigned.

Hart announced via email on Friday that she would be adding the position Director of Arizona Board of Regents Relations to her office after J.C. Mutchler stepped down from his position as executive director and vice president in the president’s office due to a life-threatening illness.

Amy Taczanowsky had been serving as interim executive director while Mutchler was at the University of Arizona Medical Center this semester. While Taczanowsky has been hired permanently as executive director of the president’s office, the email stated that the position of vice president will not be filled.

Hart said the function of the director position is not new. Mutchler did the same type of work that the new position will require, but whoever fills the new position will focus solely on communication between the UA and the board of regents, which includes fulfilling the regents’ requests, planning meetings and preparing for when the UA hosts board meetings, Hart added.

“Ultimately, everything we do at the university is directly related to [the board’s] authority as the final governing body,” Hart said.

Current UA faculty and candidates from outside of the university will be considered for the position, according to the email. Because the position will need to be filled by someone with seniority in higher education administration, the search may take months, Hart said.

The entire senior leadership in the president’s office has distributed the duties of communicating with the regents while the position is being filled, Hart added.

“The senior leadership … are all focusing on making sure that we don’t drop any balls and that we are responsive with the regents in our work with them,” Hart said. “I’m very, very grateful for the especially difficult hard work of adding those responsibilities to an already busy senior executive team.”

Human resources is currently working on a job description analysis and determining the pay for the position, Hart added.

Teri Lucie Thompson, senior vice president of University Relations, said Mutchler often worked with the board of regents on budget requests and would handle requests for presentation material from the regents as they prepared for meetings. The new director will be performing similar tasks, not only providing materials to the board but also requesting materials from the board for the UA.

“It’s great to have a designated point person who can keep track of all those issues,” Thompson said, “as well as be responsive to providing the material that the [president’s] office needs.”

Because the board governs the three state universities and serves as the liaison between the university and the state government, Hart said the candidate for the director position will have to work well with others and be mature, responsive and good with deadlines.

“It will need to be somebody who can … receive the trust of regents who need to communicate with us at the university,” Hart said. “It’s not an entry-level position at all.”

Katie Paquet, vice president for public affairs and external relations for the board of regents, said the board supports Hart’s staffing changes.

“[We] look forward to working with the new director,” Paquet said. “It’s very important to have kind of a day-to-day person in that role who’s providing information to the board.”

– Follow Stephanie Casanova @_scasanova_

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