Dr. Robert Shelton

President, University of Arizona

Robert SheltonRobert N. Shelton became the 19th president of The University of Arizona on July 1, 2006. He comes to the UA from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where he was executive vice chancellor and provost for five years.

Shelton leads the University of Arizona in its quest to advance its standing as one of the country’s top public research universities. He will focus on continuing to enhance the overall quality of the university, while increasing diversity and ensuring that the U of A is accessible to Arizona students, particularly first-generation college students. He embraces the university’s land grant status, its commitment to the people of Arizona and the important bond between the public and public research universities.

At UNC-Chapel Hill, Shelton was the chief operating officer responsible for the university’s budget, and chief academic officer, overseeing the conduct, coordination and quality of the university’s academic and research programs. He has been active on external boards and councils, including the Space Telescope Institute Council that advises and provides oversight and advocacy to NASA for the Hubble Space Telescope; the board of trustees of the North Carolina School of Science & Mathematics, responsible for policy decisions for the residential school for high school juniors and seniors; and the board of trustees and executive committee of Research Triangle Institute, an organization with a distinguished history in scientific research and technology development.

Shelton has served as major professor for 24 doctoral and six master’s degree students, and is the author of more than 240 published articles. He served as a guest scientist at Kernforschungsanlage in Julich, Germany, and at the National Institute for Materials Science in Tokyo. He has held a visiting professorship at the Universite de Geneve in Geneva, and served as editor of the Journal of Physics and Chemistry of Solids. He is a fellow of the American Physical Society, the California Council on Science and Technology and a member of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Prior to his appointment at UNC, Shelton was vice provost for Research in the University of California Office of the President. In this position, he provided university policy and program leadership among the many offices, campuses, U.S. Department of Energy laboratories and research facilities of the University of California. Previous to that appointment, he served as the vice chancellor for Research at UC-Davis, where he also was a professor of physics.

Other academic appointments include professor of physics at Iowa State University, and assistant research physicist at UC-San Diego.

He earned his undergraduate degree from Stanford and his master’s degree and doctorate in physics from UC-San Diego.