"I mean I'm never going to leave Texas Tech, I'm where I want to be," David Schmidly said two years ago. That is what David Schmidly said two years ago when he was named President of Texas Tech, but Monday he said, never mind.
It's official, David Schmidly accepted the job as President and CEO at Oklahoma State University Monday afternoon, which means Texas Tech needs a new President. And for the first time since his name surfaced on NewsChannel 11, he speaks out about his decision to leave Tech and the opportunities ahead.
To many going to a smaller school to be their president seems like a lateral move, but President Schmidly said being President and CEO of an entire system is where he needs to be in his career. And it's an opportunity that sought him, he said he wasn't looking for a job.
For David Schmidly the rest of his life started Monday when he accepted the position as President of Oklahoma State University and Chief Executive Officer of the entire OSU system. "I've made what for Janet and I is the most difficult decision of my career in announcing my resignation", Schmidly said.
Schmidly said he was approached by OSU about a month ago and they've pursued him ever since. He said he accepted the position for three reasons, the opportunity to serve as CEO of an entire University system, financial security for his family's future, and for the new opportunities of serving a system, which is not available here at Texas Tech. "Things happen and evolve and change, I'll be 59 next month and I've got about one more of these in me and it's just an opportunity we can't pass up."
Schmidly will work with an operating budget of a half a billion dollars, divided among four campuses, a medical school, a health sciences center, and an agricultural research and extension services program. He plans to start in February of 2003.
Tech Chancellor David Smith says he asked Schmidly more than once to stay at Tech and says his success here is why we're losing him. "This is a loss for this University System and a gain for OSU", Chancellor David Smith said.
Schmidly said he didn't have interest in our Chancellor position when it was open, and this decision had nothing to do with any relationships at Tech. He said the opportunity was just unprecedented.
At Tech, Schmidly had a vision for campus growth which led to record enrollment. He assisted in the hiring of Coach Bob Knight, and pushed the development of other Tech campuses across the state. He says he has no regrets, and is most proud of his work with the students.