Texas Tech Regent says he was pressured to resign - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

9/4/09

Texas Tech Regent says he was pressured to resign

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By Brittany Pieper  - bio | email

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - As the Texas Governor's race heats up, it may be affecting Texas Tech University. Mark Griffin claims he resigned from the Texas Tech Board of Regents because of a political power play.

Griffin told NewsChannel 11 he feels he had to resign because he feared his support of Kay Bailey Hutchison in the Governor's race might put Texas Tech in a bad position politically if he did not. "I think it stems from the fact that I was at a public gathering and introduced Senator Hutchison at her announcement in Lubbock a couple of weeks ago," said Griffin. 

After Hutchison's appearance, Griffin says he received a phone call from Brian Newby, a former Texas Tech Board of Regents member and former Chief of Staff to Governor Rick Perry. "The indication was given to me that the Governor desired loyal people on his team, and if I couldn't be loyal to him then maybe I should consider stepping down," said Griffin. 

After that phone call Griffin sent Governor Perry his letter of resignation. "I didn't want to put the institution, Texas Tech, at political risk, and my feeling was that if I remained on the board, that I might subject them to that," said Griffin. 

However, the Governor's office told NewsChannel 11 they did not have any contact with Griffin prior to receiving his resignation letter. About a week ago the Governor sent Griffin a letter accepting his resignation and thanking him for his service.

Texas Tech declined comment, saying this issue is between Griffin and the Governor's office.

Griffin says he is disappointed, but still loves the university, "It was a true honor for me to be able to serve that university."

Griffin would have served on the Board of Regents until Spring of 2011. The Governor's office said Perry will name a replacement, but he has not made a decision on who will fill the seat.

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