University of Arizona President Dr. Robert C. Robbins is a tireless champion and powerhouse leader on behalf of the University of Arizona. Beginning with his arrival last year, he led the development of a new strategic plan, which serves as a living manifesto of his desire to work locally, nationally and globally to advance the university to new levels of excellence and success.
With the rollout of this 10-year plan, President Robbins marks the next phase of UA’s celebrated history. Founded in and historically linked to Southern Arizona, the university’s plan is a call to action, not just for the university, but for all of us who live in this beautiful part of our state.
The new UA Strategic Plan is big, bold and visionary. It is a living document that can succeed as everything around us continues to change. A unique feature of the plan is how it was developed. Dr. Robbins understood that the plan must belong to everyone at the university and in the community. Outreach, inclusion and input from thousands of people — starting with faculty and staff, as well many others from around the community — make this a plan that will keep the university, Arizona students and our community on the forefront of the economic, educational, and technological revolution of the 21st century. Plan implementation will be everyone’s responsibility as it positions our university for unprecedented success.
Focused on students, the plan builds on the deep and powerful legacy of our university as it adapts to the future needs of our students and our state. President Robbins sought strategies for an improved educational experience, with modern teaching techniques and a new Bear Down student success district offering a playbook of services to support student needs. These changes support his goals to improve freshman retention, graduation rates and graduate placement into the workforce.
He outlines “grand challenges” for the university, including goals that it rank among the nation’s Top 25 in health sciences, Top 20 in social sciences, Top three in physical sciences and No. 1 overall as the world’s premier institution for space science and technology. The plan lays out steps for the UA to become a center for the arts, improve services for Hispanic and Native American students, expand its agricultural mission, and extend its reach globally — linking Southern Arizona to resources around the world.
These are crucial goals. As the home of UA, Dr. Robbins envisions a better-educated, healthier community with modern jobs and a thriving culture of art and sciences. We have an opportunity to grow the UA into one of the premier universities on the planet and Southern Arizona into a community equal to such a university.
This plan is really an inflection point for this university and our region. It establishes clear and concrete steps to achieve these goals, including benchmarks, resource needs, priorities and timelines for plan implementation.
On behalf of the Arizona Board of Regents, we are confident in President Robbins’ ability to bring this plan to fruition.
As we do so, the university will continue to offer a high-quality education that is both affordable and accessible to all eligible students.
It is our shared mission to ensure the benefits of a UA education remain within reach of every Arizona student and family.
The UA is a landmark Arizona university and vital institution. As a longtime member of this community, I commend Dr. Robbins for his leadership and stand by him as we work to implement his vision.