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TTU System Regents Name Sen. Robert Duncan Sole Finalist for Chancellor

Robert Duncan

Texas Senator Robert Duncan (high-res photo)

Duncan is a lifelong West Texan and Red Raider, serving as a distinguished attorney, former state representative and state senator.   

May 19, 2014 | Written by Randy Sanders

LUBBOCK—The Texas Tech University System Board of Regents today (May 19) announced Texas Sen. Robert Duncan has been named the sole finalist for the position of chancellor.

“After conducting a nationwide search and considering several outstanding candidates for the position,” said Larry Anders, vice chairman of the Board of Regents and chairman of the chancellor search committee, “the committee recognized that Sen. Duncan has the vision and leadership skills we need for our great system to continue moving upward.  We look forward to his leadership as each of our universities in the Texas Tech University System continues to grow and thrive.”

“To be able to serve the great universities in the Texas Tech University System is a tremendous honor for my family and me,” 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.”

“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.”

Now that Duncan has been named the sole finalist for the chancellor position, state law requires that 21 days must pass before final action can be taken by the Board of Regents on his employment.  Duncan’s start date as chancellor is expected to be July 1.

Duncan, 60, is a lifelong West Texan. Before calling Lubbock home, he was raised in Vernon, Texas. He is the only son of five children born to Frank L. Duncan and Robena Formby Duncan. 

While completing his undergraduate degree at Texas Tech University, he served as student body president. Duncan went on to receive his law degree from the Texas Tech University School of Law.

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. During his more than two decades in the Texas Legislature, Duncan crafted major legislation impacting water rights; health care transparency and affordability; the integrity of public investment funds; public and higher education; eminent domain; and the efficiency and effectiveness of our civil justice system.

Duncan served on the Senate Finance Committee during each legislative session since 1999. He also served on the budget conference committee, which develops the final appropriations bill.

Duncan has served as chairman of the State Affairs Committee since 2004.  He was elected and served as president pro tempore of the Texas Senate during the 81st Legislative Session. Duncan also has been a member of the Natural Resources Committee, the Committee on Higher Education and the Education Committee.

Duncan’s efforts in the Texas Senate have been highlighted by honors based on his work ethic, legislative accomplishments and leadership. Texas Monthly frequently has named him among the state’s 10 best legislators. It also has listed him as a “Texas Super Lawyer” for his professional reputation in the private sector as a partner at Crenshaw, Dupree and Milam in Lubbock.

Duncan is married to the former Terri Patterson. He has two children, Lindsey Pike, a public school teacher and counselor, and Matthew, a recent graduate of Texas Tech University. Mrs. Duncan also has two children, Justin Patterson of Austin and Clayton Patterson, a recent graduate of Texas Tech University. All of their children are Texas Tech University graduates.

Duncan succeeds Kent R. Hance, who has served as chancellor since December 2006 and has agreed to continue to serve the TTU System as chancellor emeritus.

About the Texas Tech University System 
The Texas Tech University System is one of the top public university systems in the state of Texas, consisting of four component institutions—Texas Tech UniversityTexas Tech University Health Sciences CenterAngelo State University and Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center at El Paso—and operating at 12 academic sites and centers.  Headquartered in Lubbock, Texas, the TTU System has an annual operating budget of $1.7 billion and approximately 17,000 employees focused on advancing higher education, health care, research and outreach.

In 2013, the TTU System’s endowment passed $1 billion, total research expenditures were approximately $200 million and total enrollment exceeded 44,000 students. Whether it’s contributing billions of dollars annually in economic impact or being the only system in Texas to house an academic institution, law school, and medical school at the same location, the TTU System continues to prove that anything is possible.