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Mar 09, 2017 07:54 AM EST

University Of Arizona Picks Texas Medical Center CEO As President

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Texas Medical Center CEO Robert Robbins has been selected by the University of Arizona to become its next president on Tuesday. The school's regents voted unanimously for Robbins.

Robbins was the lone finalist to become the 22nd president of the University of Arizona. The opportunity came nearly five years after he came to Houston to lead Texas Medical Center. Chron reported that he has led the center to put a greater focus on commercialization and collaboration.

Eileen Klein, president of the board of regents, said that she believes Dr. Robbins' experience as a leader and physician can serve the university well. It was said that he has a talent for advancing research, innovation, entrepreneurship and economic development as well.

On Wednesday, the upcoming University of Arizona president was introduced to various groups in the campus. This included elected state officials, faculty, students and alumni.

Regents will be voting on his contract on Apr. 6. Next Monday, they will be meeting to finalize his selection and begin with contract negotiations.

Dr. Robbins has pushed for several changes in the Texas Medical Center. He has converted the center to a facilitator of research innovation, from just being a manager of roads and parking.

It was noted that his most significant work may have been when he convinced the Texas Medical Board to change the center's covenants and allow nonprofit activities in two locations. This has jumpstarted biomedical commercialization in the area.

His biggest development so far has been an innovation center that has gotten the attention of Fortune 500 companies such as Johnson & Johnson, AT&T and Apple. It also houses a business incubator that has helped several entrepreneurs.

According to U.S. News, UA President Ann Weaver Hart will be serving out the remainder of her contract, which expires in Jun. 2018. She was selected as the school's 21st president last 2012.

© 2017 University Herald, All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.

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