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It's Official: Duane Nellis Named President of Texas Tech

Board of Regents approve recommendation; former University of Idaho president begins duties on June 15.

Written by Jaryn Jones

M. Duane Nellis

As recommended by Chancellor Kent Hance, the Board of Regents of the Texas Tech University System approved M. Duane Nellis on Friday (March 22), as the new president of Texas Tech University.

After a nationwide search conducted by regents and system officials, Hance named Nellis as the sole finalist on March 1, working in consultation with a search committee. Nellis succeeds Lawrence Schovanec, who has served as interim president of Texas Tech since former President Guy Bailey resigned from the position in August 2012.

“After an extensive search for qualified applicants, Dr. Nellis is the clear candidate to build upon Texas Tech University’s recent success,” Hance said. “I am proud to introduce him as president, and I look forward to an exciting new chapter for our university.”

Nellis is the current president of the University of Idaho, the state of Idaho’s premier land-grant research university and flagship institution. Serving as president since July 2009, Nellis has secured record student enrollments, enhanced the university’s research profile and spearheaded the university’s largest fundraising campaign.

“I am honored to accept the position of president at Texas Tech University,” Nellis said. “The current momentum is truly impressive, and I look forward to working with our students, faculty, staff and community to continue the university’s progress and growth.”

Nellis will begin his duties as president June 15.

Previously, he served as provost and senior vice president at Kansas State University. He also served as dean of the Eberly College of Arts and Sciences at West Virginia University, the institution’s largest academic college.

An authority in higher education, Nellis has served as a commissioner for the Northwest Commission of Colleges and Universities, one of the eight nationally-recognized bodies that determine whether higher education institutions are accredited. He also was appointed as a commissioner of the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education, which coordinates higher education efforts for 15 western states.

Nellis holds a bachelor’s degree in earth sciences/geography at Montana State University and received his master’s and doctoral degrees in geography from Oregon State University.

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