Sharon L. Gaber, the University of Arkansas' provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs, has accepted a job as the next president of the University of Toledo, the UA said Thursday.
Gaber was announced Tuesday as one of two finalists for the job. She will leave the UA at the end of the academic year.
In a statement, Gaber called the announcement a "bittersweet moment" and thanked UA Chancellor G. David Gearhart for setting "an example for collaborative leadership."
"While similarly sized to us, the University of Toledo is home to a medical school and teaching hospital, which represents an exciting new opportunity for me," she said. "There comes a time in every provost’s career when one hopes there’s a chance to take that next step into the presidency. And for me, this is that time."
The UA said it will announce plans for appointing an interim provost "at a later date."
"This is a fantastic opportunity for Sharon, and testament to the wonderful work she’s done as provost at the University of Arkansas, especially the blueprint she’s created for becoming a top 50 university," Gearhart said in a news release. "While her departure is a tremendous loss for our students and faculty, it’s impossible not to wish her well as she pursues her dream of leading a major university. She’s earned this opportunity, and I’m sure she’ll do an outstanding job."
The university noted that during Gaber's time as the university’s chief academic officer, student enrollment grew by about 40 percent, and the UA added about 300 tenure track faculty, increased research funding and improved graduation rates.
The move marks the second high-profile departure announced at the UA this week. On Tuesday, Eli Jones, dean of the Sam M. Walton College of Business, said he would leave this year to take a similar job at his alma mater, Texas A&M University.
In January, Gearhart announced his own retirement as chancellor, effective July 30. He plans to return to teaching.