Shelton named next UA president

February 1, 2006

By hammersmith

Robert Shelton, the executive vice chancellor and provost at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, has been selected to replace Peter Likins as president of University of Arizona.

The Arizona Board of Regents unanimously voted for Shelton to become UA’s 19th president. Shelton will receive a package worth $550,000. He will be responsible for UA’s $1.2 million budget and will oversee more than 10,000 employees and 37,000 students.

When Shelton officially takes over the presidency on July 1, 2006, he will bring to the job a background with deep roots in both science and university administration.

Regent President Christine Palacios said, “Dr. Shelton brings a wealth of experience in higher education. His vision and leadership skills will be invaluable as the UA continues to advance its high-quality learning environment and its ambitious research agenda.”

Shelton received his undergraduate degree in physics from Stanford University in 1970 and a PhD in physics from the University of California-San Diego in 1975. After serving as a professor of physics at Iowa State University for nearly ten years, Shelton was hired by the University of California-Davis as the chair and professor of physics and vice chancellor of research.

In 1996 he was promoted to vice provost for research for the University of California system. In 2001 he was hired for his current position at UNC-Chapel Hill. Established in 1789, UNC-Chapel Hill is a research extensive university with enrollment of about 26,500.

As executive vice chancellor at the UNC-Chapel Hill, Dr. Shelton is the chief operating officer and is responsible for the university’s budget. As provost, he is the chief academic officer. Shelton has been active on external boards and councils, including the Space Telescope Institute Council that advises and provides oversight and advocacy to NASA for the Hubble Space Telescope; and the Board of Trustees of the North Carolina School of Science & Mathematics, responsible for policy decisions for the residential school for high school juniors and seniors.

He has also served on the Board of Trustees and Executive Committee of Research Triangle Institute, an organization with a history in scientific research and technology development.

Shelton will take over for Likins on July 1, 2006 in the midst of Arizona’s push to build a biosciences economy. UA has been a key player in the statewide effort.

Shelton told the Arizona Daily Star that one of his goals is to elevate UA to the top 10 public universities in the country.

“I would like to see this university be identified as the place where certain key issues of society are solved,” he said.

Shelton also told the Star that the College of Medicine expansion in Phoenix is a “tremendous opportunity right off the bat” to serve people around the state.

Shelton, a Phoenix native, told the Arizona Daily Wildcat he looks forward to returning to Arizona.

“It feels like a homecoming,” he said.

For more information:

Shelton chosen as next UA president,” Arizona Board of Regents press release, 01/27/2006

UNC’s Shelton will lead UA,” Arizona Daily Star, 01/28/2006

UA’s new main man: Shelton picked as president,” Arizona Daily Wildcat, 01/30/2006