The Arizona Board of Regents (ABOR) has appointed Eugene Sander as the interim President of the University of Arizona (UA).

Sander, vice provost and dean of the UA’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, will serve on an interim basis until a permanent replacement is named for Robert Shelton who is leaving the UA to head the Fiesta Bowl.

Sander will transition into the role immediately in coordination with Shelton who begins his new job as head of the Fiesta Bowl Aug. 1. 

Sander was scheduled to retire on July 1 but will postpone retirement to fill the UA's top post.

Sander served as executive vice president and provost of the University from July 2007 through April 2008 during the search for a permanent provost. He also served as vice president for University Outreach from 2006 to 2009.

"I'm honored that the Arizona Board of Regents has asked me to accept the leadership of the University and continue President Robert Shelton's excellent work," Sander said. "The University of Arizona is both a state and national treasure that has an excellent management team. I'm really enthused about joining that team as we move forward this next year."

ABOR Chair Anne Mariucci said, "Dr. Sander is not only an accomplished academic leader. He is also a very well-respected member of the UA and Tucson community who will easily transition into the role of president. I am very confident that Dr. Sander will be a steady hand at the helm during our search for a permanent president."

Sander holds degrees from the University of Minnesota (B.S.) and Cornell University (M.S., PhD.) and has completed post-doctoral study at Brandeis University.

Prior to his move to Arizona, Sander served as the as deputy chancellor for biotechnology development, director of the Institute of Biosciences and Technology, and head of the department of biochemistry and biophysics at the Texas A&M University system.