The University of North Texas System has picked a top administrator at NASA as its next chancellor.

Lesa Roe will be the first woman to lead the UNT System. She was named sole finalist for the job on Thursday. Under state law, she must remain a finalist for three weeks before her appointment becomes official. 

Roe, who received her undergraduate degree from the University of Florida and a master's in electrical engineering from the University of Central Florida, is currently the acting deputy administrator at NASA. UNT officials said in a press release that she oversees strategy, execution and operations at the agency. 

"Serving the UNT System, the North Texas region and the State of Texas would be a tremendous honor and opportunity – thank you to the Board of Regents for their confidence and trust in my leadership,” Roe said in a statement. 

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Roe will replace Lee Jackson, the longest-serving chancellor in the state. He announced his retirement in March. Roe is expected to take over the job at the start of next year. Jackson will remain in the position until then. 

Read related Tribune coverage:

  • During Lee Jackson's tenure, the UNT system expanded from two campuses to four, and as of last fall, more than 40,000 students were enrolled there. [Full story]

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