Perry: Chancellor Duncan's retirement began almost two years ago

Perry: Chancellor Duncan's retirement began almost two years ago

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LUBBOCK, Texas -

One of Chancellor Robert Duncan's biggest pushes for Texas Tech was a vet school.

According to State Senator Charles Perry, his advocacy for the expansion wasn't welcomed by all legislators.

"I was surprised you know. Chancellor Duncan has done so much for the university, for the state and he's said he's 65 now, I think he's earned it, but it's a loss I think to our system," State Representative, John Frullo, said.

Frullo's reaction was similar to others. State Senator Perry said he was disappointed when he got the call.

"Sad that its come about and the politics behind probably some of those decisions are yet to be determined, but at the end of the day it was a lot about the vet school," he said.

The vet school was one of Chancellor Duncan's initiatives to expand the university.

"The root of this discussion began a year and a half to two years ago," State Senator Perry added.

But it wasn't supported around the Board of Regents.

"No doubt that this steams back to a vet school. It was not a popular item, probably legitimately on some of those trustee's minds that this was a conflict with some other agenda items, I argue the state's big enough to find the resources to fund worthy causes," Perry said. "It's time for the trustees to step up and due the right thing for the state and the university."

Texas A&M has the only vet school in the state. It expressed opposition to Texas Tech opening another.

"State of Texas needs another vet school, it's public policy that was proved out last session, it had legislature support last session," Perry said. "I would hope that the trustees as they go through this search committee to look for a new partner to run that institution that they recognize that universities and chancellors no matter what their university system is don't determine public policy."

While Senator Perry says the politics behind the retirement of Chancellor Duncan are still to be determined, Congressman Jodey Arrington says he believes in term limits.

"You're never going in as a lifer. You're not going to stay forever, it's going to be a temporary stint no matter who you are so I think the cycle of four or five years is a normal cycle for a president or a chancellor," Congressman Arrington said.

Former Chancellor Kent Hance served for seven and a half years, while John Montford served for five.

"This is business, and this is politics even at a local level. I guarantee you the board of regents to a person respects Bob Duncan tremendously and they're equally grateful for their contributions," Arrington added.

The legislative session starts in January, which the Chancellor plays a role in.

After Hance's retirement, it took eight months to find a replacement.

"When you make a transition in leadership like this, you've thought through this and you have a plan to communicate with your donors, with your alums, with your students. I know that the Regents, this wasn't something they just along with Chancellor Duncan, they didn't just do this willy-nilly," Arrington said. "So I think they're going to have a plan, and it will be as smooth and seamless as you can in a transition and you know it's healthy, it's healthy to have new blood, new ideas, new energy and new vision for any organization."

In his four years, Chancellor Duncan has raised nearly $600 million for the University. That's the most of any Tech chancellor in that time. His retirement is effective August 31, 2018.
 

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