Financial Updates

March 4, 2024

March 4, 2024, 8:30 a.m.

Dear Colleagues,

Every day, amazing accomplishments, breakthroughs, and experiences are happening here at the University of Arizona – unsurpassed experiential learning opportunities for students, life-changing research and discovery, faculty earning top recognition for excellence in their fields, and outreach benefitting communities across Arizona and beyond, to mention just a few.

To ensure the University continues to excel, we are actively addressing our current financial challenges. We owe it to the generations of students yet to come to fix these issues and to fix them permanently. To be successful, all of us doing our part and working together, as one Wildcat community, is imperative. That begins with me.

I recommended to the Arizona Board of Regents, and it has accepted, that my total compensation be significantly reduced. The Board will take formal action at its next public meeting to make those changes to my contract. We also are taking a hard look at how to cut more costs in central administration, including a review of every vice president, vice provost, associate/assistant vice president and associate/assistant vice provost position. As we move to eliminate redundancies and create efficiencies centrally and across campus, please see the following important updates regarding the University’s financial action plan implementation. 

Retirement Incentive Discussion

As part of the financial mitigation effort, the University was exploring a retirement incentive program. Following additional review and considering complications related to state laws, we are not currently pursuing that option.

Information Related to Potential Layoffs

Our campus community is understandably concerned about potential layoffs. University leadership is working with college and unit leaders to identify cost-cutting measures that will protect jobs as much as possible. The previously reported $27 million in savings will come from faculty and staff positions that are currently unfilled or will soon become vacant due to imminent retirements.

There will be no university-wide, across-the-board layoffs. We are working with division and college leaders to review budget plans and to develop specific strategies for each individual unit to rightsize spend. We expect to know more about any reductions or adjustments, including potential layoffs, in late April as Fiscal Year 2025 budgets become finalized. Budget decisions will be communicated by unit leadership to their respective areas as part of the financial planning process.

We are committed to embracing our University value of compassion as we continue moving forward. We are currently exploring options for minimum notice periods, job search resources and prioritizing current employees for open positions approved for hire.


Opportunity for Feedback

If you have questions, ideas and suggestions related to helping the University achieve solid and sustained financial footing, we want to hear from you. Please submit your ideas via Qualtrics. All submissions will be reviewed.

We will continue to share updates as they become available. We encourage you to continue to visit the financial updates website for information and resources.

Looking Forward

On the other side of this process, when the University has stabilized its finances and secured the foundation for our ongoing excellence, we will be empowered to achieve even greater successes. We will continue to be a research powerhouse, and we will soon surpass $1 billion in research expenditures. We will remain a national leader in space science, optical science, arid lands and water research, the arts and so much more. We will have achieved our $3+ billion campaign, providing unsurpassed support for scholarships, fellowships, and research. We will continue providing access to a world-class education for a diverse community of learners. We will remain, and improve our position as, a top-tier choice for students throughout the state, across the nation and around globe for generations to come.

The future of the University of Arizona is exceedingly bright. As we continue to see every day, our accomplishments are many, continuous, and impressive. It proves we can and will advance our leading research, teaching, and innovation despite any challenges we may face.  

Thank you for all you do to support our University of Arizona community, and Bear Down.

Robert C. Robbins, M.D.

The University of Arizona

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