Budget Update and Leadership Appointments

June 7, 2024

June 7, 2024, 1:37 p.m. 

Dear Colleagues,

Yesterday, the University shared with the Arizona Board of Regents the most recent budget planning assumptions for the new fiscal year starting July 1. Based on these assumptions, we are currently projecting a FY 2025 deficit of $50 million. While the University will continue to operate in deficit in FY 2025, this announcement reflects a $127 million reduction from the initial $177 million deficit announced just five months ago. This is a significant improvement of our fiscal position and is aligned with our goal to close the deficit within two years, as outlined in our financial action plan

As we continue to make progress on our structural deficit, I want to thank you all for your dedication and adaptability as we work to further improve the institution’s financial health.

I also would like to share the following leadership updates.

Senior Vice President, Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer

As you know, John Arnold has provided critical leadership as Interim Senior Vice President for Business Affairs and Chief Financial Officer, creating a stronger financial and operational foundation for the University. As we look to our future as a leading public, land-grant research university, I am very pleased to announce that I have appointed John to serve as Senior Vice President, Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer for the University of Arizona, starting July 1.

John is the ideal person to take on this role with a broader focus on finance and operations. He has accomplished transformational changes for the University over the past several months, thanks to his extensive background in disciplined financial management, efficient operations and higher education. As we enhance his role on the leadership team, the University will continue to benefit from his past experience as the executive director for the Arizona Board of Regents and his prior leadership as state budget director.

As I noted in my initial announcement of his interim role, I admire John’s integrity, leadership, and effectiveness. I look forward to his continued impact and the benefits for our students, faculty, staff and the communities we serve.

University Communications and Marketing

In April, Brad Bohlander, who served as Senior Vice President and Chief Communications and Marketing Officer, accepted a position at the University of Denver to move closer to family. Following Brad’s departure, I have decided to not replace this position.

I have asked Steve Voeller to oversee the University Communications team in addition to his responsibilities leading the Government and Community Relations team. His new title will be Vice President of Communications and Government and Community Relations. For the last two years, Christie Harper has taken on increasing leadership responsibilities, overseeing marketing for the institution, and I have appointed her to be Vice President of Marketing. The Communications and Marketing teams will continue to work closely together and collaborate with peers across campus to strengthen our brand and reputation in support of our institutional mission.

There may be additional changes to the University’s organizational structure in the near future as we continue through a period of transition. I will keep you informed of any further updates.


Robert C. Robbins, M.D.

The University of Arizona

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