Statement from UA Senior Vice President for Health Sciences

Joe G.N. “Skip” Garcia, MD, Dr. Merlin K. DuVal Professor of Medicine

On Monday, President Ann Weaver Hart requested that the Arizona Board of Regents (ABOR) complete an independent analysis in response to comments by ABOR President Eileen Klein at the beginning last Friday’s (8/12/16) ABOR Health Affairs Committee meeting. I was not aware of the allegations made by President Klein in advance of her opening comments and remain unaware of the specifics of the allegations. I will not reiterate those comments, as President Klein provided no material facts or substantive evidence, and there was no further discussion related to her comments during the more than four-hours of committee deliberations.

At President Hart’s urging and with her support, I am pleased to provide this statement and remain deeply committed to advancing the mission of the UA Health Sciences in a collaborative and rich working environment. The two recently completed ABOR Health Affairs Committee meetings provided a public forum to address questions about the operation and the direction of the Colleges of Medicine. Together with Dean Chuck Cairns and Interim Dean Ken Ramos, the UA Health Sciences and the Colleges of Medicine made a compelling case for our current direction based upon a presentation of the facts and in thoughtful response to substantive questions.

I am deeply troubled by the continued focus on third-party allegations that divert focus from our mission and threaten the morale of so many dedicated people. Having these issues play out through the media is inappropriate and ineffective.

I stand firm in defense of the UA Health Sciences’ accomplishments and I am proud of the overwhelmingly positive outpouring of support from UA faculty, students, and staff and our many community partners. We took seriously President Hart and ABOR’s expectation that we be attuned and responsive to various concerns and perspectives. In doing so, our recent Health Affairs Committee presentations thoroughly addressed ABOR’s questions.

The Regents were highly complementary in their response to our presentations, stating that our achievements over the last three years provide the best example yet of the success of the Never Settle strategic plan. In reflecting on specific action steps in response to the information presented, the Regents encouraged us to work together to improve the communication and flow of information.

We value this feedback greatly. We will be working actively over the next several weeks to provide additional communication forums for shared dialog with a wide range of stakeholders, both internal and external.

I encourage any concerned party or interested stakeholder to review the publically available materials covered in our Health Affairs Committee presentations. This information can be found on the ABOR website at: https://www.azregents.edu/board-committees/health-affairs. I believe that the presentations speak clearly and loudly to our successes and clear path forward.