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Chancellor Duncan Delivers State of the System Address

The state of the Texas Tech University System has never been stronger, reflected by its record-setting enrollment, endowment and budget.

September 29, 2015 | Written by Doug Hensley

Chancellor DuncanChancellor Robert L. Duncan gives his annual State of the System address to a sold-old event with the Lubbock Chamber of Commerce.

Texas Tech University System Chancellor Robert L. Duncan praised the system’s measured growth and strong financial position during his annual State of the System address at the Overton Hotel on Wednesday.

The sold-out event, sponsored by the Lubbock Chamber of Commerce, featured updates from Duncan, Texas Tech University President M. Duane Nellis and Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center President Tedd Mitchell.

“We have a lot to be proud of across the Texas Tech University System,” he said. “It is an exciting time, and I am looking forward to the future.”

Duncan announced that enrollment at the four institutions that comprise the system is 49,438 as each institution had an increase over last fall. Enrollment at Texas Tech University is 35,893, and at Angelo State University enrollment is 8,521. The Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center announced its enrollment at 4,499 and the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso announced its enrollment at 525.

Duncan thanked the Texas Legislature and the West Texas legislative delegation for their hard work during the recently completed session.

“This was the best session ever for higher education, as least as long as I’ve been around it,” said Duncan, who served as a member of the state legislature from 1992 until resigning last year to become chancellor.

The legislature passed $3.1 billion in Tuition Revenue Bonds (TRBs) with almost $250 million marked for the Texas Tech University System.

The result will be new buildings at each institution as well as on the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center campuses in Amarillo and Odessa.

The system’s endowment now stands at $1.142 billion, and the Texas Tech University System has been recognized by all of the leading credit rating organizations in the country and is among the top 20 nationally with a Double A1 rating from Moody’s.

The system will stress the importance of philanthropy in years to come, he said, with an emphasis on building a culture of sustained philanthropy. The system raised almost $150 million in the recently closed fiscal year.

“The only way for us to be nationally competitive with other institutions is through philanthropy,” he said. “We have a generous donor base, but we have to continue to identify and engage our next generation of donors.”

The chancellor also praised the system’s extensive Public Art Program, which has been part of the system’s landscape since 1998. One percent of each project’s construction budget is dedicated to public art, and some of the leading artists in the world have contributed pieces to the system’s collection, which has been tabbed one of the top 10 University Public Art Collections by Public Art.