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Nearly six months into a financial crisis and facing the wrath of Governor Katie Hobbs, University of Arizona President Robert C. Robbins will step down when his contract expires in 2026 or a successor steps in, the Arizona Board of Regents (ABOR) announced on Tuesday.

The decision comes amid a tumultuous time for the university, which is facing a $177 million shortfall caused by a flawed budget model and overspending on strategic initiatives. UA Chief Financial Officer Lisa Rulney resigned in December and was reassigned to another post. 

“After significant consideration and personal contemplation, I informed the regents this morning that I will step down as president of the University of Arizona after fulfilling the terms of my current contract,” Robbins said in a statement. “When a new president has been appointed by ABOR and she or he is prepared to start sooner than the end date of my contract, I will ensure a smooth transition to my successor and step aside earlier.”

Robbins will serve until his replacement is ready or his contract expires in June 2026.

The financial shortfall has prompted some cost-cutting measures and is expected to lead to deep cuts. The announcement that Robbins plans to step down comes days after Hobbs—a Democrat who has been critical of the board—told local media that she was frustrated with the president.

“I am continuing to lose patience with the situation and the fact that we’re hearing one thing from him and then something else from reporting, and I will say that it’s exceedingly frustrating,” Hobbs told local media last week, according to a report from local NPR station, KJZZ.

Last month ABOR Chair Fred DuVal relinquished his leadership role on the board following criticism from Hobbs over his clashes with UA faculty members, who raised questions about a potential conflict of interest that DuVal and others flatly denied.