Chancellor of the Texas Tech University System
Robert Duncan became the fourth chancellor of the Texas Tech University System on July 7, 2014.
As chancellor, Duncan is the chief executive officer and leads a $2 billion higher education enterprise, which includes four diverse and distinguished component institutions—Texas Tech University, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, Angelo State University and Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso.
In his role, Duncan is focused on increasing the Texas Tech University System's national prominence by elevating the maturity of its operations and providing each university with the resources, services and philanthropy needed to achieve excellence. As part of his leadership, Chancellor Duncan works in both Austin and Washington, D.C. to enhance funding and support for all institutions of the system. Duncan also is a member of the National Association of System Heads and currently serves as the Chairman of the Council of Public University Presidents and Chancellors in Texas.
Before becoming chancellor, Duncan served in the Texas Legislature for more than two decades. He was elected to District 84 in the Texas House of Representatives in 1992. In 1996, he won a special election to the Texas Senate, where he served until resigning to become chancellor. During his time in the Legislature, Duncan was a champion for higher education, crafting programs such as the National Research University Fund and the Texas Research Incentive Program, or TRIP, which incentivizes giving to university research priorities by awarding state matching funds, among other programs.
While representing District 28 as State Senator, Duncan crafted major legislation impacting Texans and served on three of the Senate’s most powerful committees—Finance, State Affairs and Budget Conference. He served as president pro tempore of the Texas Senate during the 81st Legislative Session and served as a member of the Senate Committee on Higher Education, the Education Committee and the Natural Resources Committee. He was widely recognized as a leader in the Texas Legislature. Texas Monthly magazine named Duncan to its ‘Ten Best' list more times than any other member of the legislature.
Duncan also was a law partner at Crenshaw, Dupree and Milam in Lubbock for more than 25 years. He advised clients in insurance law and commercial litigation, among many other areas of his legal practice, and remains of counsel for the law firm.
Duncan is a lifelong West Texan. He was raised in Vernon, Texas. He is the only son of five children born to Frank L. Duncan and Robena Formby Duncan. Duncan and his family have a rich heritage with Texas Tech University. His uncle, Marshall Formby, and cousin, Clint Formby, both served on the Texas Tech University System Board of Regents.
Duncan received his bachelor’s degree in agricultural economics from Texas Tech University in 1976. While completing his undergraduate degree, he served as the student body president. Duncan received his doctorate of jurisprudence from the Texas Tech University School of Law in 1981.
Chancellor Duncan is married to Terri Duncan. He has two children—a daughter, Lindsey Pike, who is married to Wes, and a son, Matthew Duncan. Mrs. Duncan also has two children—Justin Patterson and Clayton Patterson, who is married to Desiré. All of the children are Texas Tech University graduates, and together, they have two grandchildren.