Texas Tech University System HomepageTexas Tech University System Homepage

TTU System Board of Regents Announce Search Committee for TTUHSC President

Regent Mark Griffin will serve as chairman of the 14-member search committee.

Nov. 15, 2019 | Contact: Scott Lacefield 

Christopher M. HuckabeeChristopher M. Huckabee

The Texas Tech University System Board of Regents announced today (Nov. 15) that a search committee has been formed to begin the work of identifying and selecting the next permanent president of Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center (TTUHSC).

Board of Regents Chairman Christopher M. Huckabee announced that Regent Mark Griffin will serve as the chairman of the search committee, which will be responsible for identifying and recommending TTUHSC’s next president. The committee comprises representatives from various university constituencies, including representation from students, deans, regents, donors, faculty, researchers and TTUHSC regional campuses along with community members.

“Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center is in a prime position to attract a top candidate as our next president,” Huckabee said. “This is a great job with a team of outstanding people. Right now is the perfect time for a new leader to come in and expand upon what has been established and continue the positive momentum we have experienced during the past decade. We anticipate having quality applicants from across the country taking interest in this position.”

A national search will be conducted for the next TTUHSC president. The committee will help identify potential candidates, assist with initial screenings and ensure their respective constituency groups are kept updated on the progress of the search. Candidate recommendations will be forwarded  to the chancellor and the board. The chancellor will provide a recommendation to the Board of Regents, who will make a final decision.

“It’s an honor to serve as the chairman of this committee as we work to find the perfect leader to join the Texas Tech University System as our next president at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center,” Griffin said. “Our committee has exceptional experience and knowledge in higher education and health care. We look forward to the process and are excited to learn more about the candidates interested in pursuing the opportunity to lead TTUHSC.”

Lori Rice-SpearmanLori Rice-Spearman

TTUHSC Provost and Chief Academic Officer Lori Rice-Spearman, Ph.D., was named interim president following Chancellor Dr. Tedd L. Mitchell’s Oct. 24 announcement that he would close his nearly decade-long tenure as the president of TTUHSC and transition into the full-time position as chancellor of the TTU System. Rice-Spearman, a native of Odessa, began her duties as interim president on Nov. 1.


Beginning in 1969 as the Texas Tech University School of Medicine, TTUHSC is now a five-school university with five campuses, as well as multiple online programs. 

TTUHSC offers students the opportunity to expand knowledge in programs that are on the forefront of health care education. The programs and facilities give students the opportunity for hands-on research and clinical experience, and various collaborations with community entities provide students the practical knowledge that is vital to their success.

Today, TTUHSC enrolls 5,295 students and serves 3,000 distance students across the nation and boasts more than 30,000 alumni, 24% of whom remained in the university’s 108-county service area. 

Through research, education and patient care, TTUHSC aims to promote a greater health environment for West Texas and beyond. We strive to decrease health disparities for rural populations and improve the health of the community through collaborations with area hospitals and health centers.

TTUHSC’s five schools and their respective locations; Lubbock is the administrative campus for all schools except pharmacy, which is based in Amarillo.

Mark GriffinMark Griffin


Mark Griffin (of Lubbock) – Committee Chairman … member of the TTU System Board of Regents; President and CEO of The Griffin Companies and Pro Petroleum Inc.

Kendra Burris (of Lubbock) – Deputy Chancellor, TTU System; Vice President for External Relations, TTUHSC

Michael L. Evans, Ph.D., RN, NEA-BC, FAAN (of Lubbock) … Dean and Grover E. Murray Professor, TTUHSC’s School of Nursing

Penny Harkey (of Lubbock) – Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, TTUHSC

Allan Haynes Jr., M.D., FACS (of Lubbock) … Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs and Development and Professor, Department of Urology, TTUHSC’s School of Medicine; Vice President for Medical Staff Affairs and O.R. Medical Director, University Medical Center

Tim Lancaster (of Lubbock) – member of the Board of Directors of the Texas Tech Foundation, Inc.; former chairman and member of the TTU System Board of Regents

Eric J. MacLaughlin, Pharm.D., FASHP, FCCP, BCPS (of Amarillo) … Professor and Chair, Department of Pharmacy Practice, TTUHSC’s School of Pharmacy; Clinical Professor, Departments of Family Medicine and Internal Medicine, TTUHSC’s School of Medicine

Pearl Merritt, Ed.D., M.S., MSN, RN, FAAN (of Abilene) – Regional Dean and University Distinguished Faculty, School of Nursing, TTUHSC

Dan Pope (of Lubbock) – Mayor, City of Lubbock; Texas Tech University alumnus

Kevin Pruitt, Ph.D. (of Lubbock) – Associate Professor, Childers-Fralick Chair in Basic Cancer Research and University Distinguished Faculty, Department of Immunology and Molecular Microbiology, TTUHSC’s School of Medicine

Tobi Saliu (of Little Elm, Texas) – President of the TTUHSC Student Government Association; second-year medical student in the TTUHSC School of Medicine

Michael J. San Francisco, Ph.D. (of Lubbock) – Dean, Honors College, Texas Tech University; Professor, Department of Biological Sciences, Texas Tech University; Adjunct Professor, Department of Immunology and Molecular Microbiology, TTUHSC

John Walker (of Houston) – member of the TTU System Board of Regents; Chairman of the Finance and Administration Committee and member of the Academic, Clinical & Student Affairs Committee

Dusty Womble (of Lubbock) – member of the TTU System Board of Regents; member of the Finance and Administration Committee and the Audit Committee; Vice Chair of the Carr Foundation Board of Trustees

In addition to the committee, the following TTU System leaders have been asked to serve as ex-officio members (non-voting) of the search committee.

Richard Lange, M.D., MBA (of El Paso) – President, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso

Brian May, Ph.D. (of San Angelo) – President, Angelo State University

Lawrence Schovanec, Ph.D. (of Lubbock) – President, Texas Tech University

About the Texas Tech University System 
Established in 1996 and headquartered in Lubbock, Texas, the Texas Tech University System is a $2 billion higher education enterprise focused on advancing higher education, health care, research and community outreach. Consisting of four universities – Texas Tech University, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, Angelo State University and Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso – the TTU System collectively has approximately 55,000 students, 17 campuses statewide and internationally, more than 300,000 alumni and an endowment valued at over $1.3 billion.

During the 86th Texas Legislature under the leadership of Chancellor Dr. Tedd L. Mitchell, legislative funding and authority was provided to establish a new Texas Tech University veterinary school in Amarillo and a new dental school at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso. This will be the state’s first veterinary school in more than a century and first dental school in over 50 years. The addition of these two schools makes the Texas Tech University System one of only nine in the nation to offer programs for undergraduate, medical, law, nursing, pharmacy, dental and veterinary education, among other academic areas.