University of Arizona President Ann Weaver Hart, whose accomplishments in four years include the implementation of a strategic academic and business plan for the University and a $1 billion deal with Banner Health, said she will not seek an extension when her contract expires in June 2018.
The announcement was made on Friday by the Arizona Board of Regents at its regularly scheduled meeting in Flagstaff.
In a statement sent by email to faculty and staff on Friday, Hart said:
"I wanted you to know that I have decided not to request an extension of my current contract with the Board of Regents but to complete my tenure as president of the University of Arizona at the end of academic year 2018 and return to the full time faculty. The regents have been supportive and helpful in discussions with me about my wishes, and we are united in our enthusiasm about the future of the University of Arizona.
"During this spring's commencement ceremony, I was struck with the realization that I was presiding over my 14th commencement as a university president. I was filled with pride in the University of Arizona and in all that we have accomplished and will accomplish in the years ahead. Now is the time to plan for the future that we spoke about with such enthusiasm to our graduates.
"This is a natural choice and one that all of us must make some time in our lives. I am excited for the years ahead working on behalf of this great university.
"To all of you: Thank you so much for your past, present and future contributions to the University of Arizona and BEAR DOWN."
When her tenure began in July 2012, Hart became the 21st president in UA history — and the first woman to hold that position. The major accomplishments of her administration include:
- UA’s first strategic academic and business plan, Never Settle.
- Banner Health's purchase of the UA Health Network and academic affiliation agreement with the UA, giving the University a pre-eminent clinical partner and tens of millions of dollars for medical education and research.
- Guaranteed Tuition Plan, enabling ease of financial planning for families and encouraging students to graduate in four years.
- First across-the-board employee raises since 2007 — in 2013 and 2016.
- Most successful capital campaign in UA history, Arizona NOW, nearly complete with $1.4 billion of the goal of $1.5 billion raised.
- 100% Engagement, with student experiential learning now indicated on transcripts.
- Partnership with Uber involving the College of Optical Sciences.
- Launch of the Defense and Security Research Institute.
- Award-winning and critical renovation of Old Main as campus centerpiece.
- Construction of the Environmental and Natural Resources 2 building, a showcase of sustainability. The Platinum LEED building is the home of environmental sciences at the UA.
- Biosciences Partnership Buildings in Phoenix and Tucson, both associated with UA Health Sciences and designed to boost UA efforts in bioscience.
- Increase in momentum by Tech Launch Arizona and the addition of commercialization criteria to the tenure and promotion process.
Hart came to the UA from Temple University in Philadelphia, where she served as president for six years. Previously, she served as president of the University of New Hampshire and provost and vice president for academic affairs at Claremont Graduate University in Claremont, California. At the University of Utah, she served as professor of educational leadership, dean of the Graduate School and special assistant to the president.
In addition to her role at the UA, Hart is a member of the Association of American Universities, the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities, and the Association of College and University Educators (ACUE) Board of Advisers. She is an adviser for the Lincoln Project: Excellence and Access in Public Higher Education at the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
"A thoughtful, well-planned succession is always important to the success of the institution," Hart said Monday. "My plan has always been to practice what I taught when I was a professor studying and writing about leadership succession, and to make sure that the University of Arizona had the new leadership it deserves and needs in its next president.
"A carefully planned succession maximizes the likelihood that this great University will continue to prosper and advance in the years ahead."