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Regents tap Temple president to lead UA

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University of Arizona

Regents tap Temple president to lead UA

School could have first female head

  • Hart.
    Temple U. screengrabHart.

The Arizona Board of Regents has selected Ann Weaver Hart, the president of Temple University, to lead the University of Arizona, according to a Tuesday announcement.

Hart will replace Eugene Sander, who filled in as the UA's head after Robert Shelton stepped down a year ago. Shelton left to head up the scandal-plagued Fiesta Bowl.

Hart announced last September that she was stepping down from her post at Temple at the end of the academic year in June 2012. 

She said then that she would move to Utah to be nearer her ailing mother. In announcing her resignation from Temple, she said that the school needed a president who could make a multi-year commitment. Her $700,000 contract there was year-to-year.

The University of Utah chose a new president just last month. Except for the two finalists for the position, the names of the 80 applicants were not released. It's not known if Hart applied for the job.

Hart, 62, has led the Philadelphia university since 2006. Before taking that post, she was president of the University of New Hampshire, beginning in 2002.

Before becoming an academic administrator, Hart taught educational leadership and policy at the University of Utah in the '80s. The Salt Lake City native holds a bachelor of science in history, master of arts in history, and a doctorate in educational administration from the University of Utah.

Calling Hart a "dynamic leader with a distinguished resume and an impeccable track record of successfully managing and advancing world-class research institutions," Regents' Chair Fred DuVal said in a news release that she "will be a tremendous asset to the UA."

Hart will visit the UA next Monday to meet with faculty and students.

If confirmed by the Board of Regents, she would be the first woman to lead the 127-year-old school.

Terms of Hart's potential contract here were not disclosed. Sander's base salary as UA president is $425,000; Shelton's was $470,000, with benefits and other perks that pushed his total compensation to $633,000. Arizona State University President Michael Crow's compensation package totals over $720,000.

None of the other candidates for the UA post were identified by the Regents.

Hart did not immediately respond to a request for an interview. Her office at Temple said that a spokesman in the university's media relations department "is handling all of the press."

ABOR news release

Full text of the announcement that the Arizona Board of Regents has picked Hart to lead the UA:

After an extensive nationwide search, the Arizona Board of Regents today announced Ann Weaver Hart as the candidate for the president of the University of Arizona. Hart is currently the president of Temple University and has served as president of the University of New Hampshire and provost and vice president for academic affairs at Claremont Graduate University. Her prior appointments also include professor of educational leadership, dean of the Graduate School and special assistant to the president at the University of Utah.

"Dr. Hart is a dynamic leader with a distinguished resume and an impeccable track record of successfully managing and advancing world-class research institutions," said ABOR Chair Fred DuVal. "We are extremely pleased that Dr. Hart has agreed to pursue the presidency at the UA. Her extensive background as an accomplished chief executive officer and experience in academic medicine will be a tremendous asset to the UA and the entire state."

During her six-year tenure as president of Temple University – America's 27th largest university and home to the academic medical center Temple University HealthSystem – Hart is responsible for taking Temple's academic reputation to new heights. She has significantly increased undergraduate and graduate applications while raising the academic qualifications of incoming students; produced an institutional record number of Fulbright scholars; improved thefreshman retention rate and time to degree; grown research expenditures by nearly $30 million; fostered technology transfer and economic development efforts; and advanced Temple's ranking with the National Science Foundationseven spots. The Chronicle of Higher Education cites Temple's graduation rate as increasing at the second fastest rate among public research universitiesnationwide, a feat accomplished under Hart's leadership.

"Dr. Hart is a consummate leader, educator and administrator and embodies all of the leadership characteristics we are seeking in the next president of the UA," said Regent Rick Myers, co-chair of the UA Presidential Search Committee. "She has left indelible marks with each position she has held and has transformed Temple University into a higher performing institution at nearly every level and undoubtedly will do the same at the UA."

Hart also led the development of Temple's "Framework 20/20," a $1.2 billion campus development plan; produced a comeback in football and men's and women's basketball after hiring new coaches that landed numerous NCAA conference titles and led Temple's football team to two straight winning seasons and its first bowl game in three decades; increased the school's endowment; significantly expanded Temple's international presence; and implemented a complete redesign of Temple's community relations to strengthen relations with elected officials and further enhance the value of the university to the broader community.

In addition, Hart led the University of New Hampshire for four years, a research-extensive university with land, sea and space grant university designations. It also is the flagship of the University System of New Hampshire. Hart was responsible for providing a first-class undergraduate and graduate education to students and fostering the university's role as a major partner in research, development and outreach in every county in the state.

Regent Dennis DeConcini, UA Presidential Search Committee co-chair, stated, "We hope that Tucson and the entire state of Arizona will welcome Dr. Hart's candidacy with open arms. We have the utmost confidence that she has the ability to effectively guide the University of Arizona in providing a high-quality learning environment, advancing its ambitious research goals and agenda andleveraging the University to make a positive difference in the state."

Hart will visit the UA campus on Feb. 13 to meet with students, faculty, staff, administrators and members of the public before the Board makes its final decision on the UA presidential candidacy. A schedule will be made public when finalized.

Hart received a bachelor of science in history, master of arts in history and a doctorate in educational administration from the University of Utah. She currently serves as a member of the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities Board of Directors and as a member of the APLU's Commission on International Programs, which she previously chaired.

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