Ann Weaver Hart received a warm welcome Monday as the University of Arizona's 21st president outside of what is now her new office Monday morning.
Dozens of students, professors and university employees greeted the first woman to lead the UA in its 126-year history.
Hart was president at Temple University in Philadelphia for six years and previously served as president of the University of New Hampshire.
Hart said universities across the country are facing challenges with state funding, and she expects that will be a challenge at the UA. She says her top priority coming in as a new president is the budget.
“The budget and the relationship with the state Legislature and the governor are going to be important," Hart said in her opening remarks. "I need to get to know our leaders in our state and in our community leaders in order to become a more successful advocate for the University of Arizona."
Although Hart and her husband Randy have been in Tucson only a few days, she said they are already getting acquainted with the weather, which is quite different than in Philadelphia, and exploring Mt. Lemmon and the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum.
“You gotta love where you live,” Hart said.
The Board of Regents announced in February that Hart was the sole candidate for the presidency.
Hart has a three-year contract with an annual salary of $475,000. Her total compensation package is about $650,000, the highest in UA history.