Appointed in 2009, Francisco Cigarroa became the first Hispanic to serve as Chancellor of the University of Texas System, which consists of nine universities, six health institutions and has an annual operating budget of $11.9 billion.
A pediatric transplant surgeon, he was previously the president of the UT Health Science Center in San Antonio. Originally from Laredo, Cigarroa received his undergraduate degree from Yale University in 1979 and attended UT-Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas for medical school. He completed his residency at Massachusetts General Hospital, where he became chief surgical resident.
In April 2009, Cigarroa wrote an op-ed for the Dallas Morning News describing his views on tuition deregulation. He wrote, “the current tuition-setting process has allowed our institutions to develop creative programs that meaningfully reduce costs while encouraging undergraduates to graduate on time.”
According to his biography on the UT System website, Cigarroa was part of two surgical firsts in Texas: in 1997 he was on a team that “split a donor liver for transplant into two recipients” and in 2000 he led the team that “performed South Texas’ first successful pediatric small bowel transplant.”
He lives in the Chancellor’s residence in Austin with his wife, Graciela, who is a lawyer. They have two daughters.