Updated, 1:30 p.m.:
In a press release issued Monday afternoon, the Texas Tech University System Board of Regents officially named state Sen. Robert Duncan, R-Lubbock, the sole finalist to be the system's next chancellor.
Duncan is expected to start in his new position on July 1. A special election will have to be held to replace him, and at least one candidate — state Rep. Charles Perry, R-Lubbock — has already announced an intention to run.
"To be able to serve the great universities in the Texas Tech University System is a tremendous honor for me and my family," Duncan said in a statement. "I love the people of West Texas and will devote all of my energy to continue to grow the reputations for excellence of all the universities in the system."
Mickey Long, the chairman of the Texas Tech board, expressed delight that, though the regents undertook a national search for the replacement for outgoing chancellor Kent Hance, they ended up with a new chancellor with strong personal ties to the region and to Texas Tech University.
"Texas Tech is fortunate to have someone of Sen. Duncan's stature and reputation willing to step forward to lead our system," Long said. "He has had a tremendous legal and political career. I look forward to him continuing the advances we have made the past several years."
State Rep. Drew Darby, R-San Angelo, whose district includes Angelo State University, which is part of the Tech System, was quick to offer his congratulations.
"Senator Duncan has been a tireless advocate for Texas Tech to the great benefit of West Texas, and I'm confident he will do a fantastic job for the students, families and taxpayers of Texas!" Darby said in a statement. "While he will be missed in the Legislature, I look forward to working with him in his new role to continue improving the Texas Tech University System."
State Sen. Robert Duncan, R-Lubbock, will be named the next chancellor of the Texas Tech University System, multiple sources have told the Tribune.
An official announcement of the sole finalist for the position is expected on Monday. Per state law, the finalist could not be officially named to the position until a 21-day waiting period has passed.
Duncan, who earned his undergraduate and law degrees from Texas Tech University, has served in the Texas Legislature for more than two decades. He was first elected to the Texas House in 1992 and then ran successfully for the Senate in 1996.
He currently chairs the Senate Committee on State Affairs and serves on the Finance, Higher Education, Education and Natural Resources committees. Duncan is a partner at the Lubbock-based law firm Crenshaw, Dupree & Milam.
He would replace outgoing Chancellor Kent Hance, who has served in the position since 2006. After stepping down, Hance plans to stay with Tech in the newly created position of chancellor emeritus.