Brian McCall will apparently be the next chancellor of the Texas State University System. The board of regents picked the state representative, a Plano Republican, as the sole finalist to replace Charles Matthews in that job. They'll make the announcement on Monday [*they made it; see below].
McCall announced last year that he would not seek reelection to another term in the Texas House, surprising some because he only recently won his first committee chairmanship and was part of new House Speaker Joe Straus' leadership team.
But after 20 years in elected office, McCall had his eye on the academy, having completed his doctorate at the University of Texas while in the Legislature and having already made a financial success of himself in the insurance business. He wasn't immediately available for comment, but has been calling friends and supporters to share the news.
The Texas State University System has several institutions in its corral: Texas State University, Lamar University, Sam Houston State University, Sul Ross University, Lamar Institute of Technology, Lamar State College in Orange, and Lamar State College in Port Arthur.
Matthews, a former Garland mayor and Texas Railroad Commissioner, became chancellor in 2005 and retired from that post last year. McCall was one of more than two dozen candidates for the post, a list that also included Sen. Jeff Wentworth, R-San Antonio.
McCall wasn't running for reelection, but hadn't said whether he plans to finish his current term, which runs until January. If he goes on the state payroll before then, he'll probably have to give up the legislative gig, and that'll mean a special election to replace him. If he's nimble, that election could be held in May; the deadline to declare a seat empty and open for election on the regular May 8 election date is April 2. That's this week. If everybody hurries, they'll be able to hold the special election when people are already voting. Plano has a city council vote on that date, to replace Mabrie Jackson, one of the candidates running to replace McCall in the House.
UPDATE: Here's the official announcement:
Dr. Brian McCall Named Sole Finalist for Position of Chancellor of the Texas State University System
AUSTIN - On Friday, March 26, 2010, the Board of Regents of the Texas State University System named Dr. Brian McCall of Plano, Texas as the sole finalist for the position of Chancellor of the seven-institution, 99-year old system, the oldest university system in Texas.
Dr. McCall has been president of the Dallas-based Westminster Capital Corporation since 2000 and a member of the Texas House of Representatives since 1991 where he has held several key posts, including chairman of the Committee on Calendars, member of the Committee on Higher Education, and member of the Legislative Budget Board.
He holds a Bachelor of Arts from Baylor University, a Master of Liberal Arts from Southern Methodist University, and a Doctor of Philosophy in the Humanities, Aesthetics from the University of Texas-Dallas. Additionally, he was a visiting post-graduate student in international politics at Oxford University in Oxford, England.
He is the author of Power and the Texas Governor: Connally to Bush, published by the University of Texas Press in 2009.
He is active in business and civic activities in Dallas, serving as an adjunct professor at the University of Texas-Dallas; as a member of bank and corporate boards; and as founder and chair of The Empowerment Project, Inc., a non-profit organization that has sent over $10 million worth of math and science textbooks to needy students in the Republic of South Africa and raised over $350,000 for children’s health initiatives in North Texas.
“We are honored by Dr. McCall’s interest in leading the Texas State University System as it enters its centennial year; he is a man of great accomplishment,” stated Ron Blatchley of Bryan, Chairman of the Board of Regents.
“The Board will meet in late April to consider further Dr. McCall’s candidacy,” added Blatchley. By law, a university board of regents may not consider final action or take a vote on the employment of an applicant for chief executive officer of an institution of higher education before 21 days after giving public notice of the name of the finalist being considered.