Ever since Texas Tech Chancellor Kent Hance announced his retirement in October, there has been no shortage of speculation as to who might take his place.
State Senator Robert Duncan's name has been circulating from day one. Duncan holds a bachelor's and a law degree from Texas Tech. He served in the Texas House of Representatives for three years. He then was elected to the State Senate in 1997, and serves on the powerful Senate Finance Committee. He is widely considered one of Texas' most influential legislators.
Another reported candidate is two-time Tech graduate, former Texas House member, and current federal judge for the Western District of Texas, Robert Junell. Junell graduated from Tech in 1969, served three years on active duty in the U.S. Army and seven more in the reserves before returning for a law degree. He practiced law in San Angelo, then spent seven terms in the Texas House. West Texas had a small, but powerful base in the Legislature, with Junell serving as chairman of the House Appropriations Committee and former Tech chancellor John Montford chairing Senate Finance.
A final name we hear often is former regent and Fort Worth Attorney Brian Newby. Newby holds a bachelor's from Tech, and already has experience governing the university. He served on the Board of Regents from 1999 to 2005. The Air Force veteran has also served as chief of staff for Governor Rick Perry.
Chancellor Hance told us back in October that whoever replaces him will have to meet some criteria; one being a love for the job.
"I think they've got to have the passion for it, but also had a job of managing people, and had a job of public service, because that's what this job is," Hance said. "You're working for the public, you're working for the taxpayers, you're working for the Board of Regents, you're working for the governor, lieutenant governor, and you're working for the Legislature."
Chancellor hance said he probably won't depart until the Board of Regents can appoint a successor. He expects that will be sometime in the spring.