Updated, Friday, 10/11/2013, 4:35 p.m.: Texas Tech University Chancellor Kent Hance will retire next year and become chancellor emeritus of that system, he announced Friday. He plans to keep an office on the Lubbock campus and will continue to teach what the school called "his extremely popular seminar class on leadership."
Texas Tech's full statement on his retirement is pasted at the bottom of this story.
Updated, 10:40 p.m.: Sources at the Texas Tech University System confirmed late Thursday that Chancellor Kent Hance intends to announce on Friday that he will retire in the summer of 2014.
Original Story: Texas Tech University System Chancellor Kent Hance will announce his intention to step down as early as Friday, according to multiple sources familiar with his plans. Reached via phone late Thursday, Hance declined to comment on the matter.
The system's third chancellor, Hance has served in the position since Dec 1, 2006.
Prior to entering higher education administration, Hance had a storied career in Texas politics, which included stints in the Texas Senate, Congress and the Texas Railroad Commission, as well as unsuccessful campaigns for U.S. Senate and for governor. He has the distinction of being the only person to defeat President George W. Bush in an election. Immediately before taking his current and soon-to-be-former gig, he was a partner at Austin-based law firm Hance Scarborough.
At the system — which includes Texas Tech University and Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center in Lubbock, Angelo State University in San Angelo and Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center at El Paso — Hance set a goal of raising $1 billion for its capital campaign, and it surpassed that mark earlier this year.
“Raising $1 billion is a significant achievement, even in a good economy," he said in a statement in February, "and has put us into an elite group of higher education institutions.”
Hance also weathered a lengthy media firestorm and ensuing legal battle following the termination of popular Texas Tech head football coach Mike Leach in 2009 over allegations regarding his treatment of player Adam James, the son of former ESPN college football analyst and former U.S. Senate candidate Craig James.
Hance is one of several university chancellors in Texas, past and present, who came to his post by way of politics, and speculation about who might replace him initially focused on state Sen. Robert Duncan and U.S. Rep. Randy Neugebauer, both Republicans of Lubbock. A call to Duncan's office was not returned, and a spokesman for Neugebauer said he was focused on serving his district.
Here's a copy of the Texas Tech System's statement on Hance's retirement:
Chancellor Kent R. Hance announced today (Oct. 11) during a Board of Regents meeting on the Texas Tech University campus that he will retire in 2014 and has agreed to become chancellor emeritus of the Texas Tech University System.
Hance, who became chancellor on Dec. 1, 2006, said serving his alma mater “has been a dream for me. I love what I do, and I want to continue to help this great institution any way I can.”
Mickey Long, chairman of the Board of Regents of the Texas Tech University System, said, “Our chancellor has done fantastic work in raising the national profile of the Texas Tech University System. I am pleased that he has agreed to continue to support our universities.”
After becoming chancellor emeritus, Hance will maintain an office on the Texas Tech University campus and will be available to assist the TTU System’s next chancellor on projects. He will continue to teach his extremely popular seminar class on leadership.
“Texas Tech was fortunate to have Kent in a leadership position," said President George W. Bush. "He loves the Red Raiders and leaves behind a better university. I wish my friend all the best.”
“Chancellor Kent Hance’s decision to step down as head of the Texas Tech University System marks the end of an incredible era not just for the System, but for higher education in Texas," said Texas Governor Rick Perry. "Thanks to his leadership, higher education is more affordable and accessible to thousands of Texans. As chancellor, Hance helped the Texas Tech University System raise an astonishing $1 billion, much of it during the nation’s economic downturn."
"He also led the effort to hold the line on tuition increases and creation of a $10,000 degree at Angelo State University," Perry said. "His legacy will be felt by countless Texans for generations to come, whether they are graduates who proudly hang a diploma on their wall from one of the System’s outstanding institutions, or anyone who benefits from the ideas, innovations and initiatives brought to life through the Texas Tech System.”
The Dimmitt native, who graduated from Texas Tech University in 1965 with a bachelor’s degree in business administration and the University of Texas in 1968 with a law degree, pointed out that when he became chancellor less than seven years ago the TTU System had been in existence 10 years and consisted of two universities—Texas Tech University and Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center.
“Today,” Hance said, “the Texas Tech University System has doubled in size with the addition of Angelo State University and the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center at El Paso. We now have facilities throughout the state.”
“We recently concluded a capital campaign that raised more than $1 billion for the Texas Tech University System. I’m proud of that and want to thank our generous donors for helping grow our great institutions.”
Hance came to the chancellor’s office in late 2006 with a plan to grow the TTU System by expanding its number of components; increasing enrollment and promoting student success; strengthening academic quality and reputation; expanding and enhancing research; furthering outreach and engagement; and increasing and maximizing resources.
“We now have more than 33,000 students on the Texas Tech University campus; the number of students in the Texas Tech University System is more than 44,000; and the number of degrees has increased by 46 percent between 2006 and 2012,” Hance said.
“The quality of our students is first-rate. We have added a Phi Beta Kappa chapter at Texas Tech University, thanks to our focus on recruiting some of the nation’s top scholars—both faculty and students.”
“We have increased the number of faculty who are members of the prestigious National Academy of Engineering from one to four, and we have increased the number of Terry Foundation scholarship students from 18 to 94—this growth is unheard of in the foundation’s 25-year history.”
“Another example of how we are turning out great students is the fact that a survey conducted by the Wall Street Journal in 2010 showed that we were No. 1 in the Big 12 and No. 18 in the nation where employers could find the best graduates!”
“Thanks to the outstanding faculty, our research expenditures have almost tripled since 2006 and are now approximately $200 million a year. Our research has and will have a tremendous impact on Texas, the United States and the world.”
In September 2010, Hance and the TTU System launched a capital campaign, Vision & Tradition: The Campaign for Texas Tech, that raised $1.069 billion. It was the most successful financial campaign in the history of the TTU System.
“It has been a tremendous honor to serve this great university,” Hance said. “When my parents dropped me off at Bledsoe Hall in 1961, I fell in love with Texas Tech. The passion still burns bright for me, but it is time for someone else to take the reins of this great system.”
“I look forward to serving Texas Tech and the other great universities in our system in the years ahead.”
“There are a lot of people to thank for the success I’ve experienced during these seven years. My wife and family have always been there to encourage me.”
“The vision of the great members of the Board of Regents has led to much of my success here. It goes without saying that I am willing to do whatever they want to help raise funds and recruit outstanding faculty and students in the future.”
“Finally, thanks to the great students, faculty and staff that we have in Lubbock, San Angelo, El Paso and many other communities throughout Texas. They shared my motto: Dream no little dreams!”
Hance is the third chancellor in the history of the TTU System, which was established by the Board of Regents in 1996 and formally created by the Texas Legislature in 1999. Former Texas Sen. John Montford served in the office from 1996 until 2001 and Dr. David Smith held the office from 2002 until early 2006.