Hodge says "Fire Francis" campaign isn't just about Duncan's for - FOX34 Lubbock

Hodge says "Fire Francis" campaign isn't just about Duncan's forced resignation

Jerry Hodge Jerry Hodge
LUBBOCK, Texas -

We're a few days into former Amarillo Mayor Jerry Hodge's campaign to fire chairman Rick Francis, as Hodge believes former Texas Tech Chancellor Robert Duncan's removal was unjust. Hodge says his campaign centers around Francis not having Texas Tech's best interest at heart. 

"It's all about the vet school in my opinion, those are some questions that need to be answered," Hodge said. "He needs to step down as chairman and not seek reappointment. He's been on the board for fifteen years, that's long enough."

Hodge planned to donate ten million dollars to Texas Tech in September. His donation reportedly included three million for the pharmacy school, including naming rights, and seven million for the proposed vet school. He withdrew it due to his frustration, and the board's decisions have raised red flags for Amarillo's former mayor. 

"Why would he, in executive session, report our gift out to state-wide news media. Why would he fire Chancellor Duncan? Why would he oppose the vet school," Hodge said. 

The Board of Regent's only comment in response to the "Fire Francis" campaign was a statement: 

"The focus of the Texas Tech University System Board of Regents is providing Dr. Mitchell and our university presidents the resources and support necessary to maintain our system as a first-class institution of higher education. We remain committed to our strategic priorities as we approach a pivotal legislative session." 

Hodge says this campaign is about more than just Chancellor Duncan's forced resignation. 

"It's about Texas Tech and moving forward. It's not about me. It's not about the chairman. It's about Texas Tech and what's in the best interest of Texas Tech and West Texas," Hodge said. 

He says Francis' removal will restore honor and trust in the board of regents. Their next meeting is set for Thursday. 

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