Board of Regents executive director temporarily steps down to focus on UA role

By Matthew Casey
Published: Thursday, March 14, 2024 - 4:20pm

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John Arnold and Fred DuVal
Bennett Silvyn/Cronkite News
John Arnold (left) and Fred DuVal at an Arizona Board of Regents meeting in January 2024

Gov. Katie Hobbs said in a January letter to the state Board of Regents that the board’s executive director should not also be acting CFO of the University of Arizona.

Now, the board has kept John Arnold in the UA role and temporarily replaced him as executive director.

UA is in a financial crisis that Arnold has said will take months to fully diagnose.

The private portion of the Board of Regents meeting on Thursday ran more than an hour over schedule. Then the Board unanimously approved each public agenda item without discussion. The Board kept Arnold as UA's interim CFO but replaced him as the board’s director with a subordinate, Chad Sampson.

As temporary director, Sampson can negotiate higher pay with the board’s new chair, Cecilia Mata.

The Governor’s Office did not reply to a query asking if she is satisfied with the board’s actions. 

Robert Robbins is still UA president despite the school having spiraled into crisis on his watch. The board formally cut Robbins’ roughly $800,000 base salary, and eliminated up to $270,000 in potential bonuses for Robbins, who’s been at UA since 2017.

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