Texas Tech Chancellor Dr David Smith announced today that he plans to stay right here in Lubbock. NewsChannel 11 first reported a few weeks ago that Chancellor David Smith was being considered for system president at the University of Wisconsin. Since then, Smith became one of four finalists for the position, but he withdrew his name Wednesday, saying he has unfinished business here at Texas Tech.
Chancellor Smith wasn't looking for a job, they came looking for him. But after much thought and consideration, Smith decided Texas Tech is where he needs to be. He says, there is still business to do here and he's made a commitment to the people in the system and in this area.
"We have two Presidents that have recently joined the ranks. We've got a tough Legislative session ahead and I think there are clearly some guilt issues, that my wife kids me, but you don't want to leave unfinished business behind and we've got that to do here," said Chancellor Smith.
Smith has been at Tech for 8 years now, three as Chancellor, and while much has been accomplished in his time here, he says he still has more to do.
"The path to preeminence. This big push in the academic enterprise. The investment we're going to have to make in our students and faculty. We need over 120 new faculty at Texas Tech. And the Health Sciences Center has needs of 20-30 faculty. We have to get aggressive in scholarships for our students and stipend some fellowships for our graduate students. We need to push Tech and HSC on up," said Chancellor Smith.
Smith says the upcoming Legislative session is also top priority, and that Tech can't afford any cuts in funding.
"This University and HSC being one of the fastest growing can not be positioned where they are and be successful, if we see any further erosion of state support in higher education. In fact we need an infusion of dollars," said Chancellor Smith.
Overall, Smith says his decision to stay is a relief, and the best choice for his family. "This job is about whether on any given day we're helping some kids get through college. It's whether or not we can take the burden off of higher education. It's whether or not our faculty have the tools they need and if we have enough faculty. That's all I care about here. And in the end we can feel good about the fact that more kids in Texas are getting higher education."
Smith says the board of regents have been very supportive through this process, they are expected to offer an extension to his contract at this Friday's meeting, with a 1.5% increase in pay.
As for the speculation of Mike Moses possibly coming to Lubbock, Smith says Moses stepping down in Dallas was purely conscience.