A week after Robert Duncan, a former state lawmaker and head of the Texas Tech University System, abruptly announced that he planned to retire, the West Texas system's governing board has tapped Tedd Mitchell to serve as interim chancellor starting Sept. 1.
Mitchell has been president of the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, in Lubbock, since 2010, and will continue to lead the campus while taking up the temporary chancellor position. Mitchell's appointment, which received unanimous support from regents, was made in a telephone meeting Monday.
It's not clear when a permanent successor to Duncan will be named. Duncan, who was widely respected, said he would retire under mysterious circumstances, including concern about growth in the system administration's budget and the politics surrounding Tech's plans for a veterinary school, which would be jointly operated by Texas Tech University and the Health Sciences Center, led by Mitchell.
“I look forward to supporting the presidents during this transition,” Mitchell said in a statement. “I appreciate the Board of Regents trusting me with such an important responsibility. Their leadership and dedication to our Texas Tech System is invaluable."
Mitchell thanked Duncan and called him a "dear friend" whose support "for our universities and me personally will always mean a great deal."
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