The following is a statement from Texas Tech University System Chancellor David Smith regarding his resignation, which is effective Feb. 28:
"I will always look back on the years spent as President of the Health Sciences Center and Chancellor of the Texas Tech University System with a sense of pride and appreciation. The close associations I've enjoyed with staff, faculty and students have been enriching and rewarding both personally and professionally.
"Almost a decade has passed since Donna and I arrived at Texas Tech and I have been able to reflect on our accomplishments over that time. I am particularly proud of the academic accomplishments achieved including unprecedented growth in enrollment, almost $250 million in fundraising ($33 million in scholarships), $500 million in new facilities, and a milestone of over $100 million in federal appropriations. But most importantly, I am proud that this university and health sciences center have always remained grounded and relevant through their work in such areas as agriculture, wind engineering, water policy, teacher education, clinics on the border, a new teaching nursing home and a new state of the art clinic in East Lubbock serving the underserved.
"After almost a decade, and having accomplished the broad academic goals we set out to achieve, it is time to ask myself whether it is in the best interest of Texas Tech and me to develop new goals and strategies or to step aside and allow someone else to chart a new course. Many are aware that I have had the opportunity to consider other leadership positions in higher education. After careful thought and consideration, I have decided to offer my resignation to enable the Board of Regents to find new leadership and for me to consider other leadership opportunities.
"I would be remiss if I didn't take this opportunity to recognize and applaud some individuals whose leadership and devotion to these great institutions will continue to guide and nurture growth and excellence well into the future. It is always about the "team" not the individual, and in particular I would like to recognize and thank our two presidents, System staff, the present and past Boards of Regents I have had the pleasure to work with, and many special friends of these two universities.
"I requested, and the Board of Regents has agreed, to grant me a sabbatical after which I will evaluate their offer to return to a position as a tenured Professor in Pediatrics. I have great respect for the work and dedication of the faculty in that Department and such a position would certainly enable me to pursue one of my cherished professional goals.
"Texas Tech and the TTUHSC will always occupy a very special place in my heart.
The friendships and memories I've made here have inestimable value to me and I look forward to making more friends and more memories in my new capacity as I move on with my life and my career."