After a year of hardship and controversy, leadership and organizational changes announced at the UA


Kate Ewing

The University of Arizona Administration building is located on campus, just east of the Student Union Memorial Center. The Office of the Provost is located on the fourth and fifth floors of the Administration building.

Kanishka Chinnaraj

With this semester coming to an end, President Dr. Robert C. Robbins recently announced, through an email to the student body, some significant changes within leadership positions and organizational transitions at the University of Arizona that will take effect in the upcoming weeks. 

Change in Leadership

The Senior Vice President of Academic Affairs and Provost Liesl Folks has decided to change her current administrative responsibilities and turn her attention to creating a new Center for Semiconducting Manufacturing on campus. Folks will stay on as a faculty member of the Electrical and Computer Engineering department, due to her knowledge within the fields of nanoscale devices and industry experience.

Folks has accomplished a great deal for the university including, according to the email the “development of our pay-equity protocol for faculty; the opening of the renovated Chemistry Building and the Commons;” and launching “the Colleges of Veterinary Medicine and Applied Science and Technology” to name a few. 

The University of Arizona Police Department Police Chief Paula Balafas will also step down from being the Assistant Vice President and Chief of Police as of May 1. This position will be temporarily transferred to Chris Olson, commander of the Oro Valley Police Department’s field services division.

Campus Safety 

As announced before, the UAPD reports to the Office of Public Safety, which is led by the Chief Safety Officer, Steve Patterson. The intentions behind this new form of communication is to improve safety operations across campus. The Office of Public Safety and the university’s Threat Assessment and Management Team are also currently working to implement the recommendations from the PAX report to eliminate threats and act upon reports. 

The Campus Safety Advisory Commission is also a newly added feature to the university, and it is composed of a group of accomplished individuals ranging from graduate students to medical students to faculty members who will directly advise the Chief Safety Officer and share their perspectives on safety and security measures. 

Organizational changes 

In order to improve communication and collaboration on services and support for employees across campus, the Division of Human Resources will “be elevated to the Executive office of the President,” according to the email sent out by Robbins. Along with this, several organizations such as Risk Management and Safety, Facilities Management and Parking and Transportation will transition to be under the leadership of the Office of Public Safety to better align efforts between these campus organizations.

Lastly the university’s Cultural and Resource Centers will shift from the Dean of Students Office to the Office of Inclusion led by the Interim Vice President and Chief of Inclusion Officer Francisco Moreno. The affected organizations include 

  1. Asian Pacific American Student Affairs
  2. African American Student Affairs
  3. Adalberto and Ana Guerrero Student Center
  4. Immigrant Student Resource Center
  5. LGBTQ Affairs
  6. Native American Student Affairs
  7. Women and Gender Resource Center

According to Robbins, he will continue to conduct reviews of the Cultural and Resource Centers to ensure that these student services and organizations continue to flourish. 

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