/ Modified jun 27, 2012 6:08 p.m.

Sander Reflects on Academic Career, Unexpected Presidency

He departs UA at end of month, after spending 24 years, including final in top spot

Andrea Kelly talks to University of Arizona President Eugene Sander about his unexpected year leading the university. He retired last year, but before he had a chance to leave town, then-president Robert Shelton resigned. Sander was recruited to be the university president for one year while the Arizona Board of Regents conducted a nationwide search for a permanent replacement for Shelton. With just weeks left, we'll check in on what the year was like, and what's waiting for the new president.

Eugene Sander - President, University of Arizona (VIDEO: AZPM)

Eugene Sander is entering his final week as president of the University of Arizona, after 24 years in the university's academic community.

He may be best known for the time he served as Dean of the College of Agriculture. He was finishing his career when he accepted the presidency on short notice last summer, after then-UA President Robert Shelton left to take the top position at the Fiesta Bowl.

"I was familiar with the university. That was one of the reasons I felt comfortable taking this assignment," Sander says.

He says all along he didn't just want to keep the chair warm, but wanted to continue to advance the university's goals, including dealing with budget issues and new state formulas for university funding.

"During this past year my goal was essentially to get this university ready for new leadership," he says.

Ann Weaver Hart takes over for Sander as the University's next president in early July. She is Temple University president until then.

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