Texas Tech President Jon Whitmore is announcing his retirement from the university, effective immediately. However, Whitmore will not leave his office until the end of next January, or when a new president is selected.
Sources tell NewsChannel 11 that President Whitmore's retirement is a direct result of Texas Tech being placed on probation with the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Accreditation Agency. The agency put Tech on probation in December, saying it failed to meet one of the agency's 87 standards. The agency claims Tech did not collect sufficient data to determine whether the curriculum met college level competencies.
Chancellor Kent Hance quickly took action and formed a three member team to investigate why Tech ended up on probation. It was discovered that President Whitmore's office apparently failed to give the agency some data and information on time.
Texas Tech is not at risk of losing its accreditation, and is still accredited with more than 25 other agencies.
In a statement released to NewsChannel 11, Whitmore says:
"When hired in 2003 as Tech's 14th president, I made a commitment to serve Texas Tech for five years. My inaugural address reflected the regent's goal of achieving academic excellence.
"Every 'excellence' initiative set out in that speech has now been accomplished, or is underway with substantial progress made. Now that the agenda has been set to grow to 40,000 students, I believe new presidential leadership is needed to carry out that goal.
"My wife Jennifer and I are passionate Red Raiders and we appreciate the superior support and friendship that faculty, staff, students and alumni have provided us.
"We pledge our best efforts to continue to work towards tech's unremitting improvement into the future."
Whitmore came to tech from the university of Iowa where he served as provost for seven years.
Sources say the University hopes to have a new president in place in the next couple of months.
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