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Medical Center president up for top job at Arizona State University

March 1, 2017 GMT

Dr. Robert Robbins, CEO of the Texas Medical Center, has been named one of two finalists for the University of Arizona presidency, the school announced Tuesday.

Robbins and Arizona State University executive vice president Sethuraman Panchanathan are being invited to interview for the job on March 6, said a spokeswoman for the university’s board of regents said. She said “the successful finalist” will be named March 8.

“Both Drs. Panchanathan and Robbins are outstanding candidates and highly respected academic and research leaders,” Greg Patterson, chair of the regents, said in a statement.

Robbins has been one of the Houston’s leading health-care figures since coming to the city in November 2012 to lead the corporation that manages the Texas Medical Center. Under his leadership, the company has evolved from mostly a parking manager into more of a facilitator of research collaboration in the medical center.

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Robbins declined to comment about the candidacy.

Holcombe Crosswell, board chairman of the TMC, said in a statement that “top and successful leaders are often sought after to lead our nation’s foremost academic institutions. TMC is proud to have a strong, respected and admired leader in Dr. Robbins. At this point in time, no decisions have been made.”

Before coming to the medical center, Robbins was chairman of cardiothoracic surgery at Stanford University’s School of Medicine. He went to medical school and did his initial surgical training in Mississippi before finishing his residency at Stanford. He has also worked in Atlanta, Australia, Washington and New York.

Robbins or Panchanathan would replace Arizona President Ann Weaver, who announced last fall she was resigning as soon as a replacement could be found. The regents subsequently launched a national search.