Texas Tech regents have finalized the hiring of State Senator Robert Duncan as the next chancellor. Duncan said it's a job any alum would to have and it'll be a challenge to him to keep the momentum going led by Kent Hance.
Duncan, once voted 'Texas Legislator of the Year', said his first step is to further the progress Chancellor Emeritus Kent Hance has made in growing the Texas Tech institution.
"I want to work with each of the component institutions to make sure they have the resources to do that. We can brainstorm and we have the vision to be able to come up with new ideas about how to achieve those very important and I think well thought out goals that the board has put in place."
Vice Chairman of the Board of Regents, Larry Anders, said Duncan's political clout played a big part, in hiring Duncan for the position.
"I think what Chancellor Duncan brings to the table is a lot of the same attributes that chancellor Hance brought to the table. And that's the ability to understand the legislative process, not just in Austin, but nationally and especially in the state of Texas." said Anders.
"He understands Austin, he understands what happens in Austin and he has friends there that can help us," said Mickey Long, Chairman of the Board of Regents.
Duncan said Hance's expertise will now help him in his fundraising efforts.
"I want to tap into that expertise and also his contacts. We both have a lot of contacts, and then together as a team, on the fundraising we'll be able to have some real success"
Duncan succeeded John T. Montford in District 28 when Montford was chosen as the first chancellor of Texas Tech. Now, the senator said he hopes whoever is elected to the seat has a similar mindset.
"We are a very large part of the Texas economy down here and in order to be a large part it takes infrastructure and resources and so we need to make sure our tax dollars come back, and be able to support our infrastructure, our public education, our higher ed institutions, our need to expand water infrastructure out here as well as transportation infrastructure."
Duncan has been instrumental in keeping Texas fiscally strong, but said he's most proud of the strides he's made in criminal justice. Namely, helping those who have been wrongfully convicted.
"Some of these people had been in prison for 20 years. They were wrongfully imprisoned, they were denied their liberty and we provided a process, I think, was a fiscally responsible process, for giving them compensation that and allowing them to get their lives back in order."
Duncan will officially begin as chancellor on July 7. Duncan was named sole finalist for the position of chancellor May 19. State law requires that 21 days pass before final action can be taken by the Board of Regents on his employment.
Duncan succeeds Kent Hance, who has served as chancellor since December 2006 and has agreed to continue to serve the TTU System as chancellor emeritus.