5 things to know: Tuesday

5 things to know: Tuesday

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Texas Tech Chancellor Robert Duncan announces retirement

LUBBOCK, Texas - Texas Tech regents will soon begin the search for the System’s next chancellor. Robert Duncan announced his retirement in a letter Monday.

Duncan, 65, has served as chancellor since July 2014. His retirement is effective Aug. 31. This announcement comes days after the most recent Board of Regents meeting, held Thursday and Friday in Lubbock.

Unconfirmed reports suggest Dr. Tedd Mitchell will take over as interim chancellor until the final candidate is approved. He currently serves as the president of the Texas Tech Health Sciences Center in Lubbock.

“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,” Duncan wrote in the letter.

There isn’t yet a time line for when an interim chancellor will be appointed or when the search for Duncan’s successor will begin. 
 
The chancellor, who reports to the Board of Regents, is chief executive of the Tech System, with an annual budget of more than $2 billion, about 53,000 students and 20,000 employees. Presidents of Texas Tech University, Texas Tech Health Sciences Center, Angelo State and Texas Tech Health Sciences Center El Paso report to the chancellor.
 
According to Duncan’s bio, since his appointment the System has raised more than “$581 million in philanthropic funds, more than any previous chancellor has raised in the same time period, and is on track for a record fundraising year in 2018. Duncan emphasizes philanthropic giving as the funding that enables system universities to achieve excellence. In line with his belief in the power of philanthropy, Chancellor Duncan has set forth the goal of a $2 billion TTU System endowment (currently valued at $1.26 billion) which would establish resources for success for decades to come.”
 
Duncan is the fourth chancellor of the Texas Tech University System, which was created in 1996 and formally established by the state in 1999.
 
Duncan is among three Tech chancellors elected to public office. John Montford represented Lubbock and the South Plains in the Texas Senate from 1983 to 1996. Upon Montford’s departure from the Senate to become Tech’s first chancellor in August 1996, then-Lubbock State Representative Duncan won a special election to replace Montford. Duncan served in the State Senate until July 2014.. 
 
Tech’s second chancellor, Dr. David Smith, was previously president of the Texas Tech Health Sciences Center. Dr. Smith earlier served as chairman of the Texas Correctional Managed Health Care Committee and commissioner of the Texas Department of Health. Dr. Smith was named interim chancellor in September 2001, appointed chancellor May 2002.
 
Tech’s longest-serving chancellor, Kent Hance, was appointed in December 2006. Under his leadership the System added Angelo State and Texas Tech HSC El Paso. Like Montford and Duncan, Hance was Lubbock State Senator, from 1975 to 1979. Hance was then elected U.S. Representative for Texas’ 19th District, serving from 1979 to 1985. Current West Texas Congressman Jodey Arrington served as Chief of Staff to Chancellor Hance and, later, as Tech Vice Chancellor for Research and Commercialization. Hance currently serves as chancellor emeritus. 
 
Duncan received a bachelor’s degree in ag economics from Tech in 1976, and a doctorate of jurisprudence from the Tech Law School in 1981.

A letter from Duncan can be found here.


U.S. Trustee opposes Reagor-Dykes request to hire chief restructuring officer

LUBBOCK, Texas - A U.S. Justice Department Trustee opposes a request made by Reagor-Dykes Auto Group in Bankruptcy Court to hire a chief restructuring officer.

In a court filing Monday, the Trustee writes in support of Ford Motor Credit's petition to hire a chapter 11 trustee to oversee operations of the company instead of Reagor-Dykes' petition to hire an employee of BlackBriar as CRO.

From Monday's filing, "the Debtors [Reagor-Dykes companies] propose retaining a CRO whose expanded powers would permit him, among other things, to independently investigate Debtors' prior financial transactions and their owners and officers. Such duties belong to a chapter 11 trustee or an examiner, not a CRO. For this reason, the Court should deny the Debtors' application to employ a CRO."

Last week Reagor-Dykes' filing indicated the CRO would "investigate the potential for any wrongdoing by the Debtors' [Reagor-Dykes] former CFO and Ownership, to stabilize the Debtors accounting functions, to immediately put into place strong accounting controls, and to provide CFO support upon the departure of the Debtors' former CFO."

Also, Reagor-Dykes filed notice 341 creditors meetings that were scheduled for Sept. 6 have been rescheduled by the U.S. Trustee's Office to Sept. 27.


LPD: Officers fired on armed suspect who raised gun at police

LUBBOCK, Texas - Two Lubbock Police officers are on administrative leave after shooting and wounding a suspect who is seen in body cam video (image attached) armed with a gun. This happened early Monday morning at the Coyote Moon Game Room near 40th Street and Avenue A.

Assistant Chief Jon Caspell says officers were responding to what they thought was a robbery that had already been pulled. He says an officer walked up to the door and met Isaac Jackson, 20, who was armed.

Caspell says the officer retreated. As the door was closing, body cam video reportedly shows Jackson raising his gun toward the officer. The suspect ran from one door to another and reportedly slammed the door into a back-up officer trying to get out. That's when officers shot Jackson multiple times.

Officers took the gun from Jackson, called back-up and EMS and pulled Jackson behind cover to start applying first aid. He's in custody at the hospital with critical injuries.

Investigators say the gun Jackson had was reported stolen in 2014. Police also say there's a second suspect, who got away while they were engaging Jackson.

No other information has been released other than that suspect is considered armed and dangerous. If you know anyone else involved in this robbery, call CrimeLine at 806.741.1000. All tiptsters remain anonymous.

There are administrative and criminal investigations in this use of lethal force, as per department procedure. The administrative review takes policies and procedures into consideration to see whether the officers' actions were by the book. Caspell says reviewers can forward their findings to a grand jury for its deliberation. The officers have not been publicly identified. 

A link to the press conference from LPD can be found here.


Senator Cruz campaigns in Lubbock

LUBBOCK, Texas - Senator Ted Cruz stumped in Lubbock Monday following his tour of the state's military bases. It's Senator Cruz's first official campaign stop here this cycle, a guest of the Lubbock County Republican Party.

Senator Cruz first focused on his four domestic priorities: tax cuts, regulatory reform, repealing Obamacare, and replacing activist judges in federal courts. He said the Republican majority has delivered.

"So a year in a half into it we have seen tremendous results for the people of Texas, but we have a lot more work to do," Senator Cruz said. "We need to keep working lowering taxes, we need to make the individual tax cuts permanents, we need to secure our border, we need to deliver on our promise to the people of Texas."

Speaking to a packed Triple J Chophouse, Senator Cruz said he does recognize the battle he is up against come November. He said he continues to have the upper hand against El Paso Representative Beto O'Rourke. 

"You know usually in a general election in Texas a Democrat will at least pretend to run to the middle, will at least pretend to be a moderate," Cruz said. "Congressman Beto O'Rourke is not doing that. He is running hard hard left like Bernie Sanders. Now what does that mean? That means he voted against the tax cut and he is promising to raise your taxes. It means he wants to bring back the Obama-era job-killing regulations that hammer Texas, that hammered oil and gas that hammered farmers and ranchers. It means in Obamacare he supports and wants to expand it to full on socialized medicine, put in the federal government in charge of your healthcare and your doctor."

Recent polling has shown Cruz with a slim lead over O'Rourke among likely voters within the margin of error. Senator Cruz now heads to the DFW area to continue his campaign trail.


Lubbock Commissioner's Court approves multipurpose arena for November ballot

LUBBOCK, Texas - The Lubbock County Commissioner's Court approved the proposed multipurpose arena for Lubbock and will let voters decide in the November ballot. 

The County Judge signed a "Notice of Election and Order of Election to implement a new hotel occupancy tax" regarding construction of the multipurpose arena.

If approved by voters, the hotel occupancy tax will increase from 13 to 15 percent. This vote would not increase the county's property tax rate or the sales tax rate.

For more on this story click here.

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