Shelton takes office at a critical time in UA's 121-year history. The regents have handed down a directive that the university become a premiere research institution, while also toughening admissions requirements. SAT scores for applicants are about even with those of Arizona State University, according to press reports. UA wants to pull ahead of the pack and Shelton is the one who will lead them.
When he takes office this summer, Shelton will also be tackling other strategic goals, such as launching a new campus of the College of Medicine in downtown Phoenix, and recruiting a more diverse faculty. Given the goals, the selection of Shelton is perfectly logical. While at UNC, Chapel Hill he was in step with high-tech development in that area's Research Triangle. He had an active role in the university's Office of Technology Development, adding staff and a patent administration system valued at $300,000, according to UNC officials. The office's current licensing revenue is $4 million. UA's is lower: $1.1 million. But the hope is that Shelton will help change that. --J.M.A.