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Hail to the Chief

After more than two decades as a leader in the Texas Legislature, Sen. Robert Duncan has taken over leadership of the Texas Tech University System (TTUS).
  • TTUS Chancellor Robert Duncan
    TTUS Chancellor Robert Duncan

On May 19, the TTUS Board of Regents named Duncan the sole finalist for the position of system chancellor following a nationwide search, and he officially stepped into his new role on July 1. A lifelong West Texan, he now leads the largest university system in the region.

“To be able to serve the great universities in the Texas Tech University System is a tremendous honor for me and my family.”

TTUS Chancellor Robert Duncan

“To be able to serve the great universities in the Texas Tech University System is a tremendous honor for me and my family,” Duncan said. “I love the people of West Texas and will devote all of my energy to continue to grow the reputations for excellence of all of the universities in the system. I am deeply indebted to the Board of Regents for this opportunity.”

A native of Vernon, Duncan received his bachelor’s degree from Texas Tech University and served as student body president. He then earned his law degree from the TTU School of Law. In 1992, he was elected to the District 84 seat in the Texas House of Representatives, and four years later he won a special election to the Texas Senate, where he played a key role in ASU’s transition from the Texas State University System to the TTUS in 2007.

“I am very excited to welcome Sen. Duncan as the new chancellor of the Texas Tech University System,” said ASU President Brian J. May. “Sen. Duncan and I have worked closely in the past on numerous initiatives related to Angelo State University, and he is very knowledgeable about ASU. Sen. Duncan has been very successful in helping ASU grow in the past, and I am confident he will continue in the future as our chancellor.”

During his legislative tenure, Duncan served on the Senate Finance Committee from 1999 and as chair of the State Affairs Committee starting in 2004. He was also a member of the Natural Resources Committee, Education Committee and Committee on Higher Education. He crafted major legislation impacting water rights, health care transparency and affordability, the integrity of public investment funds, public and higher education, eminent domain, and the efficiency and effectiveness of our civil justice system.

For his work ethic, legislative accomplishments and leadership, Texas Monthly frequently named Duncan among the state’s 10 best legislators. The magazine also named him a “Texas Super Lawyer” for his professional reputation in the private sector as a partner at the Crenshaw, Dupree and Milam law firm in Lubbock.

“Texas Tech is fortunate to have someone of Sen. Duncan’s stature and reputation willing to step forward to lead our system,” said Mickey Long, chairman of the Board of Regents. “He has had a tremendous legal and political career. I look forward to him continuing the advances we have made the past several years.”

Duncan succeeds Kent R. Hance, who had served as chancellor since December of 2006 and continues to serve the TTUS as chancellor emeritus.

“Sen. Duncan has the vision and leadership skills we need for our great system to continue moving upward,” said Larry Anders, vice chairman of the Board of Regents and chairman of the chancellor search committee. “We look forward to his continued leadership as each of our universities in the Texas Tech University System continues to grow and thrive.”