Texas Tech thrives under four years of Chancellor Robert Duncan'

Texas Tech thrives under four years of Chancellor Robert Duncan's leadership

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LUBBOCK, Texas -

He is a proud Texas Tech alumnus. He has served as a state senator and an attorney. And for the last four years,  he has been serving as the chancellor of the Texas Tech University System. 

"It's been a ride, it's been a lot of fun," Duncan said. 

Born and raised in the small West Texas town of Vernon, Chancellor Robert Duncan has spent his life serving Texas. Duncan said growing up he loved Tech and that having the opportunity to do his job has been really unique. 

Duncan's life of service started when he was an undergrad at tech, serving as the student body president.
After he graduated and earned a law degree, he went on to serve in the Texas House of Representatives and the Texas Senate. There he served as president pro-temp during the 81st legislative session, served on the senate committee on higher ed, the education committee and the natural resources committee. 

 "When I came to Texas Tech I thought this was a great big ole place, I'm just going to try and survive and what I learned here though was that you do, you get from Texas Tech confidence," Duncan said. "The mentorship I had from upperclassmen that I worked with, my fraternity, and the College of Ag Sciences as well as the leadership from the faculty and mentorship I got from them gave me the confidence to do things I never thought I would do, I never thought I would be student body president."

 In 2014, Duncan retired from the legislature to become the fourth chancellor of the Tech system.

"I've been fortunate to have a lot of great career opportunities and this is a great way to enjoy all of the things that I've learned in the past and to deal with some really great people who are what we call Texas Tech," Duncan said. 

Since taking over the reigns, Tech has set records in enrollment and degrees awarded. He has raised nearly 600 million dollars, started the process of establishing a new veterinary school, new dental school and become one of the nations top doctoral universities in the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of higher education. Leading the way in research that affects the region.

"If you look at cotton, we're it. I don't know if anybody in the world is doing as much as we are on cotton research here. If you look at some of the things we're doing in the Health Science Centers," Duncan said. "If you look at some of the stuff we're doing in our engineering programs here, we really are doing some great things to forward important issues in this country."

If you ask him, there is much more to be excited about than just the strides made in research. 

"I'm proud of the way we've organized the system to be able to provide an opportunity for our presidents to be leaders in their institutions, I'm excited about Costa Rica and the new opportunity we have their to provide, be providing undergraduate degrees in a foreign country that is very unique," Duncan said. "I'm proud of the dental school expansion that we've been working on, I'm proud of the progress we've made on our vet school expansion and then also the fact that we've really done a nice job, our team has done a great job of cultivating our philanthropic program."

Duncan said before his time as chancellor is done, there is a lot more progress to be made. 

"I really want to continue on the expansions that we're talking about that really do provide educational services that are unique for this region and for the nation. I think a dental school and a vet school will really provide those opportunities for us. I want to make sure we raise funds sufficiently to provide scholarships for our students to help alleviate some of the financial pressures," Duncan said. "Then I want to work with the Legislature to ensure public higher education is adequately funded so that we can control, lower the cost to the student but to continue to provide the best higher education opportunities in the country."

When it is all said and done, he wants to look back at his time at Tech with a peace of mind it is better off than before.

"I'd like for people to see that during this period of time, we took it to the next level and that would've been one of my pursuits when I was in the Legislature, it's a pursuit that I have now is to make sure Texas Tech is at the highest level and when you see the Double T," Duncan said. "That you think of quality and you think of people that have made a difference in the world and we're doing that now and I want to make sure that we continue to do that at the highest level possible."

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