Tough questions for Robert Duncan about the future of Texas Tech

Tough questions for Robert Duncan about the future of Texas Tech

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - On July 7, Robert Duncan will celebrate four years as chancellor of the Texas Tech University System.

In the last four years, Duncan said system officials have raised more than $530 million and created processes to help the expansion of the system while creating autonomy among individual institutions.

Tech now has 17 campuses state-wide and has three ongoing initiatives for dental and veterinary schools, and mental health.

Duncan spoke to the KCBD Investigates Team about those projects and a shooting on the flagship campus that left a Texas Tech police officer dead.

"The Officer (Floyd East Jr.) situation really was an anomaly," Duncan said. "But anomalies happen because something goes wrong somewhere."

The shooting, which took place on October 9 was unique because of the surroundings and the location. The shooting not only took place on the Tech campus, inside its police department headquarters but was also at the hands of a student.

Because of the perceived lack of oversight questions remained of the leadership within the university's department -- mainly in the department's police Chief, Kyle Bonath.

"We have confidence in his level of expertise and I have confidence in his leadership abilities for the police department," Duncan said.

Duncan said the university plans to continue to improve security measures as the population grows.

Last fall, Tech reported an enrollment of 37,010 students and the hope is that number could increase to 40,000 by 2025.

"I think it is going to happen if it is a goal or not. I think the popularity of this institution statewide and even nationally is growing," Duncan said. "The growth that we have had nationally will get us to 40,000."

Duncan said the future students at Tech will have additional disciplines to choose from, like the proposed School of Veterinary Medicine.

"The idea sells itself. It's nothing against Texas A&M,  it's just about the capacity of Texas," Duncan said. "We have outgrown one vet school."

The goal for opening up the veterinary school is 2021.

Moving over to the athletics side, Duncan said he is an eternal optimist, especially when it comes to Texas Tech football.

"I'm very excited about some of our new coaches and the new philosophy that Kliff has brought in with that," Duncan said.

Reflecting on the overall success of Tech athletics, Duncan has high praise for the athletic director, Kirby Hocutt.

"He's really developed a culture within our athletic program that is very high-fidelity," Duncan said.

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