Embattled University of Arizona President Robert Robbins won’t stay on past current contract

Apr 2, 2024, 11:30 AM | Updated: 12:49 pm

University of Arizona President Robert Robbins is seen walking on the Tucson campus....

University of Arizona President Robert Robbins announced Tuesday, April 2, 2024, he will step down at the end of his current contract -- or sooner if a successor is in place. (University of Arizona Photo)

(University of Arizona Photo)

PHOENIX – Embattled University of Arizona President Dr. Robert C. Robbins announced Tuesday he will step down at the end of his current contract — or sooner if a successor is in place.

“After significant consideration and personal contemplation, I informed the regents this morning that I will step down as president of the University of Arizona after fulfilling the terms of my current contract,” Robbins said in press release issued by the Arizona Board of Regents (ABOR), the body that oversees the state’s three public universities.

“When a new president has been appointed by ABOR and she or he is prepared to start sooner than the end date of my contract, I will ensure a smooth transition to my successor and step aside earlier.”

Robbins already took pay cut in wake of financial crisis

Robbins’ contract expires June 30, 2026. Last month, he took a 10% cut to his base salary and agreed to forego multiple performance bonuses after it was revealed the Tucson-based school was facing a $177 million budget shortfall.

His annual salary was reduced from $816,008 to $734,407, and he is no longer eligible for up to $270,000 for meeting certain goals.

How long has Robert Robbins been University of Arizona president?

Robbins became UArizona’s 22nd president on June 1, 2017, after the former cardiac surgeon served as president and CEO of the Texas Medical Center in Houston.

“His keen ability to weave together the biological, digital and technology sectors to further advance the mission of the university has led to exceptional accomplishments,” ABOR Chair Cecilia Mata said in the release. “On behalf of the board, we are sincerely grateful for his tireless work and commitment to serve the students, faculty, staff and state.”

Mata said a national search will be held for Robbins’ successor.

“UArizona is an incredible asset to the state of Arizona,” Gov. Katie Hobbs said in a statement. “During this time of leadership transition, I will continue to offer my support to the university and to ABOR as a successor is identified.”

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Embattled University of Arizona President Robert Robbins won’t stay on past current contract