Arizona's new interim presidentPosted: Updated:
TUCSON, Ariz. -- One week after University of Arizona President Robert Shelton resigned, the person who will temporarily take his place was announced.
Saturday the Arizona Board of Regents appointed long time Dean Dr. Eugene Sander as interim president.
A familiar face will temporarily serve as leader at the University of Arizona.
"The University of Arizona is a national jewel and I think you need to think of it in that way," said Dr. Sander.
Dr. Eugene Sander will transition into the role as president immediately, as Dr. Robert Shelton prepares for his new job as head of the Fiesta Bowl. Dr. Sander is no stranger to campus.
Over the past 24 years, he has held several titles, such as the university's Executive Vice President and Provost and Vice President for University Outreach.
Sander planned to retire July first from his latest position as Dean at the College of Agriculture and life sciences, but when the Board of Regents approached him, he couldn't say no to the challenge.
"They said, 'Gene, there will be no vacations.' They expect me and the team here at the University of Arizona to move the agenda forward," said Dr. Sander.
That agenda includes tough challenges such as budget cuts, maintaining UA's quality research programs and working together with Arizona's two other state universities.
"I think it's definitely a good choice that they chose somebody who's been working here for a long time. I trust that they know what they're doing," said incoming freshman Traci Jackson.
"He's seen what Shelton has done here, he's seen what past presidents have done here, so maybe that will benefit things," said UA Researcher James McNabb.
As far as the next university president, Sander says the Board of Regents will most likely seek his input.
He hopes they appoint a person who is scholarly and who can lead the U of A into another successful era.
Dr. Sander expects to serve as interim president for one year. As the Board of Regents searches nationally for Shelton's replacement.