The Texas Tech University System Board of Regents announced Monday that Texas State Senator Robert Duncan will become the next Chancellor of Texas Tech University. The announcement Monday that Duncan is the sole finalist comes after reports last week that three candidates were being considered.
According to KFYO-AM, Karen Tandy a Texas Tech graduate and former head of the Drug Enforcement Administration as well as Mike Moses, former Superintendent of Lubbock and Dallas ISDs as well as current endowed chair of educational leadership at the University of North Texas were the other candidates under consideration.
In a press release Mickey Long, chairman of the Texas Tech Board of Regents praised Duncan. “Although we looked nationally for candidates to fill this very important position, we are delighted that our selection has strong personal ties to this area and university,” said Mickey Long, chairman of the Board of Regents. “Texas Tech is fortunate to have someone of Sen. Duncan’s stature and reputation willing to step forward to lead our system. He has had a tremendous legal and political career. I look forward to him continuing the advances we have made the past several years.”
Duncan has had a long career in Texas politics. He was elected to serve District 84 in the Texas House of Representatives in 1992. Duncan has served in the Texas Senate since 1996 and has served on the Senate Finance Committee since 1999. Since 2004 Duncan has served as chairman of the State Affairs committee and during the 81st Legislative Session Duncan was elected as president pro tempore of the Texas Senate.
Duncan’s ties to Texas Tech University and to West Texas are strong as he is a lifelong West Texan who was born in Vernon, Texas before moving to Lubbock. Duncan received his bachelor’s degree in agricultural economics and a law degree from Texas Tech.
In a press release Duncan said of his selection as sole finalist, “To be able to serve the great universities in the Texas Tech University System is a tremendous honor for me and my family,” Duncan said after learning of his selection. “I love the people of West Texas and will devote all of my energy to continue to grow the reputations for excellence of all of the universities in the system. I am deeply indebted to the Board of Regents for this opportunity.”
Texas law requires that 21 days must pass before final action in taken by the Board of Regents. It is expected that July 1st will be the official start day for Duncan. Duncan will become the fourth Chancellor of Texas Tech University. Duncan succeeds Kent R. Hance who has served as Chancellor since 2006. Hance has agreed to continue serving the Texas Tech University System as chancellor emeritus.
The announcement also means that a special election will be held to fill the Texas Senate seat that Duncan will be vacating. While no one has officially announced their intention to run, State Representative Charles Perry is widely expected to seek Duncan’s seat. Perry, who represents District 83, recently told KFYO that he believes he would have a good chance of winning that seat.
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