UT System Poised to Name New Chancellor Today

Members listen to committee reports at the Board of Regents meeting for The University of Texas System on Feb. 14, 2013.
Members listen to committee reports at the Board of Regents meeting for The University of Texas System on Feb. 14, 2013.

At a special meeting via telephone on Tuesday evening, the University of Texas System Board of Regents is expected to name the sole finalist to be the system's next chancellor. Sources with knowledge of the search have told The Texas Tribune that Admiral William H. McRaven is expected to get the gig.

Tuesday's special meeting was scheduled late last week.

McRaven is a Navy Seal best known for coordinating the successful operation to kill Osama bin Laden. He is currently the commander of the U.S. Special Operations Command, which is headquartered in Florida. He holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas at Austin and a master’s degree from the Naval Postgraduate School.

Richard Fisher, president and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, has also been under consideration for the chancellor post. Once the position became open, Gov. Rick Perry initially pushed for Texas Health and Human Services Executive Commissioner Kyle Janek to get the job, but according to sources, the proposal did not get very far with the board.

The finalist will have to wait a state-mandated minimum 21-day period before being officially confirmed as the next chancellor. The board's next meeting is currently scheduled for Aug. 20-21.

Either McRaven or Fisher would be an unusual choice for the post, as neither is a product of state politics or academia, the typical backgrounds of the heads of university systems in Texas. Four of the six major Texas university system chancellors have a history in Texas politics.

Francisco Cigarroa, the current chancellor, announced in February that he intended to resign and take over the pediatric transplant surgery unit at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. He has served in the position for more than five years.

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