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Texas Tech University System Chancellor Robert Duncan announces retirement

Robert Duncan announces retirement
Updated: Aug. 13, 2018 at 8:49 PM CDT
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Provided by Texas Tech University

Texas Tech University System Chancellor Robert Duncan announced his retirement in an email to system employees today. Effective date of retirement will be Aug. 31.

In the message, Duncan spoke of the growth in the system and its universities and how their work is impacting the state, region and nation.

"The relationships Terri and I have built with board members, system and university leadership, donors, students, faculty and staff during this time means so much to us. We look forward to maintaining these friendships and watching the system continue to flourish in the years ahead," he said.

Achievements during the four-year tenure of Chancellor Robert Duncan:

TTU System raised more than $585 million in philanthropic support, more than any previous system administration through the first four years.

TTU System endowment has grown $150 million to a total value of $1.3 billion.

Degrees awarded, student enrollment and research expenditures have reached record levels.

TTU System and its component institutions have built significant momentum and support for new major initiatives benefiting our universities and the State of Texas.

Duncan sent this personal statement to TTU System employees on Monday:

TTU System Family:

Over four years ago, when becoming Chancellor of the Texas Tech University System I declared that we were a university system of the first class. Since that time, we have continued to uphold that standard, made significant progress in elevating the maturity of our System and have achieved even greater levels of success in the advancement of a broader vision.

As we approach the start of a new school year, I look back with pride on the tremendous strides we have made in recent years. But I have also reflected on my life, my decades of public service, and realize that, at 65, it's time to retire, move on and begin to tackle new challenges. In doing so, I'm grateful for the support I have received from the Board of Regents, the System, our universities, and all those who love Texas Tech University as much as I do. I am committed to a smooth transition to ensure that our progress continues unabated.

Serving the System as Chancellor has been the honor of a lifetime and the highlight of my professional career. This position, and working alongside each of you, is an experience for which I am forever grateful. The growth and progress of the System and our four institutions over the past four years are undeniable and will make a difference in our communities, state and nation for years to come. We have so much to be proud of.

Together, we have raised more than $585 million in philanthropic support, building a culture of sustained philanthropy. Our endowment has grown $150 million to a total value of $1.3 billion. Degrees awarded, student enrollment and research expenditures have reached record levels. We also have built significant momentum and support for new major initiatives to benefit our universities and the State of Texas.

Most importantly, the relationships Terri and I have built with Board members, system and university leadership, donors, students, faculty and staff during this time mean so much to us. We look forward to maintaining these friendships and watching the System continue to flourish in the years ahead.

I came to Texas Tech University as a young man from Vernon, Texas.  Like many, I needed inspiration and confidence to realize what was possible for my future. This university and its people empowered me to believe I was capable of achieving a future beyond my wildest dreams. They started me on a journey that took me to law school, led me to serve our state and community in the Texas Legislature, and ultimately culminated with serving as Chancellor of the greatest university system in the nation. From here, it is indeed possible.

Terri and I cannot thank you enough for the support and friendship over these last four years. We are forever grateful.

L. Frederick "Rick" Francis, Chairman, Texas Tech University System Board of Regents issued this statement on Monday night:

"I'd like to thank Robert Duncan for his leadership of the Texas Tech University System the past four years. He has helped all of our universities reach new heights and pursue new, innovative initiatives. I've known him for many years and value his friendship. I wish him and Terri all the best in retirement."

John D. Steinmetz, Finance Chairman, Texas Tech University System Board of Regents issued this statement:

"Bob Duncan is a man of integrity. Sadly, I have heard a rumor of misappropriation of funds as the reason for his retirement. I have known him for 18 years and have twice served as chair of the board's finance committee. I can say unequivocally, that to my knowledge, Bob Duncan has not done anything unethical or illegal during his tenure as chancellor of the Texas Tech University System. The Texas Tech family greatly appreciates his leadership of the system."

Texas Tech President Lawrence Schovanec issued this statement on Monday night;

"Chancellor Duncan was a champion for higher education in the state legislature and Texas Tech has continued to benefit from that commitment during his tenure as chancellor of the Texas Tech University System. I admire and appreciate Chancellor Duncan for his lifetime of service to Lubbock, West Texas and our state. I am personally and professionally indebted to him and will continue to value our close friendship. I wish him and Terri the very best in retirement."