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Texas Tech President M. Duane Nellis Announces Decision to Step Down


Dr. M. Duane Nellis

January 8, 2016 | Written by Doug Hensley

Texas Tech University System Chancellor Robert L. Duncan announced today (Friday, Jan. 8, 2016) that Texas Tech University President M. Duane Nellis has decided to step down effective Jan. 22.

“I appreciate Dr. Nellis’ important contributions and service,” Duncan said. “He has worked hard to raise the national profile of Texas Tech University, and he and his wife, Ruthie, have been deeply committed to Texas Tech and the Lubbock community.”

Nellis will remain on staff as a tenured member of the faculty, and he will continue to work with Duncan on a series of strategic priorities, including expanding international opportunities, innovation, and enhancing the Honors College.

“I want to thank Chancellor Duncan and express my congratulations on the successes the Texas Tech University System has achieved,” Nellis said. “I am proud of the role Texas Tech University has played as the flagship institution in reaching those accomplishments and applaud the faculty, staff and students, who collectively elevated Texas Tech University to new levels of national success.”

Duncan said he will meet with the Texas Tech University System Board of Regents to discuss naming an interim president and defining the search and selection process for a new president.

Nellis was named the 16th president of Texas Tech University on March 22, 2013 and began serving as president in June 2013. Prior to coming to Texas Tech, Nellis served as president of the University of Idaho. Previously, he was provost and senior vice president at Kansas State University and dean of the Eberly College of Arts and Sciences at West Virginia University.

During his time at Texas Tech University, Nellis has focused on campus-wide innovation and entrepreneurship, enhancing diversity on campus and developing community partnerships. He has hired additional staff and faculty as the university’s enrollment has grown to almost 36,000. Likewise, Texas Tech University has added research professorships and enhanced efforts toward inter-disciplinary research. He also was instrumental in the university’s recent reaccreditation from SACSCOC (Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges).

About the Texas Tech University System 
The Texas Tech University System is one of the top public university systems in Texas and the nation, consisting of four component institutions—Texas Tech University, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, Angelo State University and Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso—and operating at more than a dozen academic sites and centers.  Headquartered in Lubbock, Texas, the TTU System has an annual operating budget of nearly $2 billion and approximately 19,000 employees focused on advancing higher education, health care, research and outreach. 

In 2015, the TTU System’s endowment exceeded $1.1 billion, total research expenditures were more than $215 million and total enrollment was approximately 50,000 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 health-related institution at the same location, the TTU System continues to prove that anything is possible.