May 19, 2014 6:31 PM by Associated Press
LUBBOCK, Texas (AP) - Texas Tech University System officials named state Sen. Robert Duncan on Monday as the sole finalist to become the new chancellor.
The 60-year-old outgoing lawmaker is a lifelong West Texan who earned his bachelor's and law degrees from Texas Tech. He has served as a state senator since 1996 after two terms in the House.
"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," Duncan said in the news release announcing him as the finalist.
State law requires the board of regents to wait 21 days before officially naming Duncan chancellor. He would become the system's fourth chancellor and succeed Kent Hance, a former state senator and congressman who will stay on in a new position of chancellor emeritus.
The regents looked nationwide for Hance's successor but decided on someone who has personal ties to the school, said Mickey Long, chairman of the regents board.
"Texas Tech is fortunate to have someone of Sen. Duncan's stature and reputation willing to step forward to lead our system," Long said. "He has had a tremendous legal and political career. I look forward to him continuing the advances we have made the past several years."
The system is composed of Texas Tech University, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, Angelo State University and Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center at El Paso.
Once Duncan is named chancellor, the governor's office will also call a special election to fill the senate seat for the rest of his term, which ends in 2017. Duncan was expected to start his duties as chancellor July 1.
Duncan would be the third former state senator to become chancellor. John Montford, the system's first chancellor, also was a state senator.
(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
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