ABOR meeting highlights: Board approves presidents’ contracts, at-risk goals; ASU and UArizona head baseball coaches’ contracts; Regents Medal for exceptional service

Photo of NAU campus with buildings on the right and a street on the left

ABOR meeting highlights: Board approves presidents’ contracts, at-risk goals; ASU and UArizona head baseball coaches’ contracts; Regents Medal for exceptional service

October 1, 2021

Following are news highlights from the Arizona Board of Regents Sept. 29-Oct. 1 board meeting. Full board materials are available here.

Regents approve new goals, amend contracts for university presidents, and update notice of appointment for ABOR executive director 

The board amended the contracts of Arizona State University President Michael Crow and University of Arizona President Robert Robbins, and the appointment for ABOR Executive Director John Arnold and approved base compensation increases for each. The board also approved annual and multiple-year at-risk compensation goals for President Crow, NAU President José Luis Cruz Rivera, President Robbins and Director Arnold and annual goals for the Enterprise Executive Committee.  

“Today we recognize the extraordinary and transformative leadership of our universities’ presidents,” said ABOR Chair Lyndel Manson. “Our presidents are essentially CEOs of one of the largest and most complex enterprises in the state of Arizona, and it’s important that we retain these visionary leaders. These universities are major economic engines in Arizona that deserve no less than top-flight leadership to drive our economy and workforce development forward. Presidents Crow, Cruz Rivera and Robbins and Director Arnold are the right leaders for our institutions, and we are indeed fortunate to have them at the helm. I am also extremely proud of our presidents who, through extraordinary efforts, navigated the challenges of the pandemic, focused on minimizing health risks for students and members of the university communities, maintaining academic excellence and access to quality higher education.”

New yearly and multiple-year at-risk compensation goals assigned by the board to university presidents, the board’s executive director, and the Enterprise Executive Committee advance strategic initiatives, including improving educational attainment in Arizona, generating solutions to societal challenges, advancing efficiency and affordability, and enhancing the quality of students’ experiences. 

The board also awarded President Crow compensation for achievement of 2018-21 at-risk compensation goals that were achieved for increasing bachelor’s degrees, boosting enrollment, raising the number of degrees awarded in high demand fields and increasing the student athlete graduation success rate. 

New at-risk compensation goals for the presidents and director include:

  • President Crow

New goals include addressing educational gaps in Arizona; submitting a plan for a Science and Technology Center in the Fulton Schools of Engineering as part of the New Economy Initiative; and completing the design of the Global Futures Laboratory. 

  • President Cruz Rivera

New goals include restructuring pricing and financial aid; developing institutional goals and objectives through a collaborative process; expanding the number of students from working class families enrolled and graduating from NAU; developing a plan to expand allied health and other traditional NAU programs statewide; and implementing an operational plan to advance each of the five strategic priorities outlined in the University’s Diversity Strategic Plan.

  • President Robbins

New goals include increasing retention; developing and documenting a strategy to raise educational attainment in southern Arizona; and implementing and coordinating a collaborative relationship with ASU and NAU that substantially raises the research potential of the UA College of Medicine Phoenix. 

  • Director Arnold

New goals include making significant progress on metrics that contribute to differentiating the three universities for the benefit of Arizona; coordinating university and board office resources to finalize each university’s revised general education requirements; and enhancing public awareness of the role of higher education in – and goals for — Arizona.   

  • Enterprise Executive Committee

New goals include developing policy proposals to reform university institutional financial aid to include implementing the Arizona Promise Scholarship and addressing high discounting for resident students. Additionally, the EEC is tasked with reviewing the current structure of health sciences in Arizona, including research and academic activities.

More information is available here.

Experience as player, coach and manager: Board approves UArizona head baseball coach multiple-year contract

The board approved a multiple-year employment agreement for Walter “Chip” William Hale III as head coach of UArizona Wildcats baseball.

Coach Hale brings a wide range of experience to UArizona as a player, coach and manager in major league baseball. Hale played for UArizona during the 1980s and continued his career in baseball with nearly two decades of professional coaching experience. He was an integral member of the university’s 1986 national championship team, was inducted into the Arizona Sports Hall of Fame and played for the Minnesota Twins and Los Angeles Dodgers before beginning his career in coaching.

Hale managed the Triple-A Tucson Sidewinders and spent 15 years coaching at the major league level, including as manager of the Arizona Diamondbacks. More information is available here.

Former Sun Devil player and hall of famer: Board approves ASU head baseball coach multiple-year contract

The board approved a multiple-year employment contract for Willie Bloomquist as head coach for ASU Sun Devils baseball.

Bloomquist is a Sun Devil Athletics Hall of Famer who played three seasons at ASU and earned 1999 Pac 10 Player of the Year honors. Among his accomplishments are leading the 1998 Sun Devils to an appearance in the NCAA College World Series championship game, achieving two-time All-American status and representing Team USA as a member of the Collegiate National Team. He was a two-time Pac-10 All-Academic First Team Selection, a CoSIDA Academic All-American and a 2019 CoSIDA Academic All-America Hall of Fame inductee.

His major league career included playing for the Seattle Mariners and Arizona Diamondbacks where he has spent the last five years as a special assistant to the Diamondbacks president and CEO. More information is available here.

Board awards high honor to exemplary employee for exceptional 30-year legal career

In recognition of an extraordinary career spanning more than 30 years with the Arizona university system, the board awarded Nancy Tribbensee, J.D., Ph.D., a nationally recognized lawyer specializing in education law, the Regents Medal, one of the board’s highest honors.

Dr.  Tribbensee joined ASU in 1989 as associate vice president for legal affairs. In 2006, she moved to ABOR to serve as senior vice president and general counsel and her most current position was as senior counsel and special advisor to the board.

During her career with the Arizona university system, Dr. Tribbensee provided legal guidance on countless significant and complex issues. She led or participated in every major legal and board policy action with highlights including:

  • Development of the board’s intellectual property policy;
  • Development and implementation of the board’s tribal consultation policy;
  • Development and implementation of the presidential at-risk compensation structure; and,
  • Assisting in the implementation of the Enterprise Executive Committee structure.

A senior executive at the board, she provided advice and counsel to individual board members, board office directors and university presidents. She is a frequently sought leader in the national legal community and served as chair of the National Association of College and University Attorneys. During her leadership at the association, she wrote or co-wrote more than a dozen articles, pamphlets or books.

“Nancy’s contributions to the universities, the board and our office are immeasurable,” said Arizona Board of Regents Executive Director John Arnold. “Her encyclopedic knowledge, quick wit and willingness to always pitch in and lead improved Arizona’s universities and the lives of all who were around her. We thank her for sharing her leadership, amazing intellect, wisdom and kindness with the board and our universities. I am deeply proud to call her my friend and on behalf of the entire university system, I wish her all the best as she transitions to new endeavors. She truly will be missed,” More information is available here.

Consent agenda items include capitol development plans, NAU general education framework, online metrics

Approved by the board on the consent agenda were items including:

Sarah Harper, 602-229-2542, 602-402-1341 | Sarah.K.Harper@azregents.edu
Julie Newberg, 602-229-2534 | julie.newberg@azregents.edu