Houston—Texas Medical Center CEO Robert Robbins has been selected as the next president of the University of Arizona, and will visit the school’s Tucson, AZ, campus today.
The Phoenix-based Arizona Board of Regents voted unanimously to hire Robbins as its 22nd president.
“Dr. Robbins’ comprehensive experience as both a visionary leader and highly-respected physician, as well as his evident talent for advancing research, innovation, entrepreneurship, and economic development will serve the University of Arizona and our state well,” board of regents president Eileen Klein said in a prepared statement.
Robbins will today meet with various university staff and students, and will participate in a community forum this afternoon. The board said it plans to finalize the selection and begin contract negotiations at a special meeting March 13.
Robbins came to Houston in late 2012 to lead the corporation that governs the medical center and presided over a transformational time at the TMC. Robbins has overseen major changes in how the corporation supports the innovation that comes from both within the TMC and the broader Houston biotech community. Most notably, in the last two years, the TMC has created the TMCx accelerator, which brings in young health IT and medical device companies, and a biodesign fellowship that can help medical entrepreneurs identify commercial opportunities. In addition, both Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ) and AT&T have set up incubator and accelerator spaces that work with local Houston life sciences companies.