The vote follows an extensive nationwide search and the announcement last week of Hart's selection as the sole finalist. Hart, who replaces President Eugene G. Sander, will begin her term on July 1.
Hart currently is president of Temple University and has served as president of the University of New Hampshire and provost and vice president for academic affairs at Claremont Graduate University. Her prior appointments also include professor of educational leadership, dean of the Graduate School and special assistant to the president at the University of Utah.
"On behalf of the regents, I welcome Dr. Hart to the University of Arizona and the Arizona University System," said ABOR Chair Bob McLendon. "We have the utmost confidence that she will lead the University of Arizona to new heights, providing a comprehensive, high-quality learning environment for students, advancing the University's ambitious research goals and agenda, and creating a positive and lasting influence on the state."
Hart spent the past week in Arizona visiting with the UA community. A series of events was held with students, faculty, staff, administrators, media and members of the business and civic community where Hart fielded questions and had a chance to discuss her vision for the UA.
Hart emphasized the need for the social, cultural and economic aspects of the institution and the broader community to be interdependent, aiding in the betterment of human knowledge and opportunity.
"The University of Arizona is a distinguished research institution with a rich history of achievement," Hart said. "I am honored to have this opportunity to work with the entire University community – students, faculty, administrators, regents, alumni and friends – and the state of Arizona to advance UA's mission and lead the University through its next growth phase."
During her six-year tenure as president of Temple University – America's 27th largest university and home to the academic medical center Temple University Health System – Hart was responsible for taking Temple's academic reputation to new heights.
She significantly increased undergraduate and graduate applications while raising the academic qualifications of incoming students; produced an institutional record number of Fulbright scholars; improved the freshman retention rate and time to degree; increased research expenditures by nearly $30 million; fostered technology transfer and economic development efforts; and advanced Temple's ranking with the National Science Foundation seven spots.
The Chronicle of Higher Education cites Temple's graduation rate as increasing at the second fastest rate among public research universities nationwide, a feat accomplished under Hart's leadership.
Hart also led the development of Temple University's Framework 20/20, a $1.2 billion campus development plan; produced a comeback in football and men's and women's basketball after hiring new coaches that landed numerous NCAA conference titles and led Temple's football team to two straight winning seasons and its first bowl game in three decades; increased the school's endowment; significantly expanded Temple's international presence; and implemented a complete redesign of Temple's community relations to strengthen relations with elected officials and further enhance the value of the university to the broader community.
In addition, Hart led the University of New Hampshire for four years, a research-extensive university with land, sea, and space grant university designations. It is also the flagship of the University System of New Hampshire. Hart was responsible for providing a first-class undergraduate and graduate education to students and fostering the university's role as a major partner in research, development and outreach in every county in the state.
Hart received a bachelor of science in history, master of arts in history, and a doctorate in educational administration from the University of Utah. She currently serves as a member of the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities, or APLU, Board of Directors and as a member of the APLU's Commission on International Programs, which she previously chaired.