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Regents choose Texas Medical Center CEO as finalist for University of Arizona president

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PHOENIX — The Arizona Board of Regents chose Texas Medical Center CEO Robert C. Robbins as its top finalist for president of the University of Arizona on Tuesday.

Robert Robbins (Photo: Texas Medical Center)

Robert Robbins (Photo: Texas Medical Center)

Robbins, who has served as president and CEO of the medical center since 2012, was named as a finalist for the position last week, along with Arizona State University professor Sethuraman Panchanathan.

In a statement, regents chair Greg Patterson said Robbins has an “impressive track record of leadership, research accomplishments and demonstrated success in managing the largest medical complex in the world.”

“In addition to the obvious benefits to UA’s two medical schools, Dr. Robbins’ championship of cross-institutional research initiatives demonstrates that he is well-positioned to guide UA from its strong existing foundation to continued success in the areas of interdisciplinary scholarship and student success,” part of the statement read.

According to the Texas Medical Center website, Robbins had held positions at the Stanford University School of Medicine, International Society of Heart and Lung Transplantation, Western Thoracic Surgical Association, American Heart Association Western States Affiliate and American Heart Association Cardiovascular Surgery and Anesthesia Council.

His hiring is not yet final. The regents plan a special meeting March 13 to begin negotiations on Robbins’ contract.

Robbins will visit the university’s main campus in Tucson on Wednesday to meet with staff and students and will participate in a forum, which will be live-streamed, beginning at 4:15 p.m.

UA President Ann Weaver Hart is serving out the remainder of her contract that expires in June 2018. She became the university’s 21st president in 2012.

Last June, Hart announced that she would not seek a contract extension, but would remain at the helm until a replacement is named.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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