UT System Board of Regents Chair Sara Martinez Tucker to step down in January

The reason for the surprise decision wasn't immediately disclosed.

Sara Martinez Tucker, chair of the University of Texas System Board of Regents, at a July 2017 meeting.
Sara Martinez Tucker, chair of the University of Texas System Board of Regents, at a July 2017 meeting.  Bob Daemmrich for the Texas Tribune

The head of the University of Texas System's governing board, Sara Martinez Tucker, has told high-ranking UT officials she plans to step down as a regent on Jan. 15, 2019.

No reason was immediately given for her sudden departure. The announcement was confirmed to The Texas Tribune by two sources.

Tucker, who served as President George W. Bush's under secretary of education, was named a regent in 2015 and elected the board's chair in 2017. Her term as regent is set to expire in 2021.

Tucker's tenure as chair followed years of infighting among the board, and was marked by a reduction in both public feuds and system-level spending. A task force of regents has, for months, been evaluating what the scope of the system's offices should be, and they are slated to release recommendations this fall, likely articulating a more scaled-down vision.

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Tucker's decision also comes as the UT System's new chancellor, James B. Milliken, enters his second month in the chief executive officer position, where he reports to the nine-member board of political appointees.

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