The Texas Tech University System Board of Regents officially named state Sen. Robert Duncan, R-Lubbock, the sole finalist to be the system’s next chancellor in a news release issued Monday afternoon.
Duncan is expected to start in his new position July 1. A special election will have to be held to replace him, and at least one candidate — state Rep. Charles Perry, R-Lubbock — has already announced an intention to run.
“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 in a statement. “I love the people of West Texas and will devote all of my energy to continue to grow the reputations for excellence of all the universities in the system.”
Duncan has served in the Texas Senate since 1997. He served in the Texas House from 1993 to 1997.
Mickey Long, chairman of the Texas Tech board, expressed delight that, though the regents undertook a national search for the replacement for outgoing Chancellor Kent Hance, they ended up with a new chancellor with strong personal ties to the region and to Tech.
“Texas Tech is fortunate to have someone of Sen. Duncan’s stature and reputation willing to step forward to lead our system,” Long said. “He has had a tremendous legal and political career. I look forward to him continuing the advances we have made the past several years.”
State Rep. Drew Darby, R-San Angelo, whose district includes Angelo State University, which is part of the Tech System, was quick to offer his congratulations.
“Senator Duncan has been a tireless advocate for Texas Tech to the great benefit of West Texas, and I'm confident he will do a fantastic job for the students, families and taxpayers of Texas!” Darby said in a statement. “While he will be missed in the Legislature, I look forward to working with him in his new role to continue improving the Texas Tech University System.”