Robert Duncan celebrates 4 years as chancellor, shares journey from Tech student to chancellor

Robert Duncan celebrates 4 years as chancellor, shares journey from Tech student to chancellor

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - When Robert Duncan came to Texas Tech University as a freshman in the 1970s, he said he never envisioned one day sitting behind the chancellor's desk.

"When I came here, I was more interested in rock music and watching football," Duncan said.

His parents met at Tech and his uncle and cousin both served on the Tech's board of regents. When he enrolled in the university, he had every intention of working in production agriculture.

"That was my goal and dream, but I got here and something happened," Duncan said.

It is a transformation that has been dubbed by Tech President Lawrence Schovanec as the signature learning experience.

"I was inspired as a country boy with not a whole lot of confidence and ambition and got here and all of the sudden faculty and student mentors gave me confidence to understand, 'hey, you can do more,'" Duncan said.

Duncan became student body president and graduated with a bachelor's degree in agricultural economics in 1976, and later went to law school.

He graduated from School of Law in 1981 and went on to become a senator.

"Alumni we talk to, they came here, they were fresh in their thinking," Duncan said. "But had no idea they could accomplish what they could."

On July 7, 2018, Duncan will celebrate four years as chancellor of the Tech system and he said there is a lot to be proud of.

"We have grown and matured into a system that has four institutions, 17 campuses statewide, we are expanding into areas like dental, vet school, we are doing mental health initiatives," Duncan said. "We are doing a lot of different things that are fairly complex, significant."

In the past four years, Duncan said the university has raised more than $532 million.

He said he is most proud of the processes set in place to allow the university to expand, and transition into more autonomy for individual institutions.

As Texas Tech matures into a larger more complex system, he said new processes needed to be developed in order to sustain that expansion.

"Which I think allows them to be more robust, innovative, creative and to tap the talents that our leadership in those institutions have," Duncan said.

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