Sen. Robert Duncan
“After conducting a nationwide search and considering several outstanding candidates for the position,” said Larry Anders, vice chairman of the Board of Regents and chairman of the chancellor search committee, “the committee recognized that Sen. Duncan has the vision and leadership skills we need for our great system to continue moving upward. We look forward to his leadership as each of our universities in the Texas Tech University System continues to grow and thrive.”
“To be able to serve the great universities in the Texas Tech University System is a tremendous honor for my family and me,” Duncan said after learning of his selection. “I love the people of West Texas and will devote all of my energy to continue to grow the reputations for excellence of all of the universities in the system. I am deeply indebted to the Board of Regents for this opportunity.”
“Although we looked nationally for candidates to fill this very important position, we are delighted that our selection has strong personal ties to this area and university,” said Mickey Long, chairman of the Board of Regents. “Texas Tech is fortunate to have someone of Sen. Duncan’s stature and reputation willing to step forward to lead our system. He has had a tremendous legal and political career. I look forward to him continuing the advances we have made the past several years.”
Now that Duncan has been named the sole finalist for the chancellor position, state law requires that 21 days must pass before final action can be taken by the Board of Regents on his employment. Duncan’s start date as chancellor is expected to be July 1.
Duncan, 60, is a lifelong West Texan. Before calling Lubbock home, he was raised in Vernon, Texas. He is the only son of five children born to Frank L. Duncan and Robena Formby Duncan.
He was elected to District 84 in the Texas House of Representatives in 1992. In 1996, he won a special election to the Texas Senate. During his more than two decades in the Texas Legislature, Duncan crafted major legislation impacting water rights; health care transparency and affordability; the integrity of public investment funds; public and higher education; eminent domain; and the efficiency and effectiveness of our civil justice system.
Duncan served on the Senate Finance Committee during each legislative session since 1999. He also served on the budget conference committee, which develops the final appropriations bill.
Duncan has served as chairman of the State Affairs Committee since 2004. He was elected and served as president pro tempore of the Texas Senate during the 81st Legislative Session. Duncan also has been a member of the Natural Resources Committee, the Committee on Higher Education and the Education Committee.
Duncan’s efforts in the Texas Senate have been highlighted by honors based on his work ethic, legislative accomplishments and leadership. Texas Monthly frequently has named him among the state’s 10 best legislators. It also has listed him as a “Texas Super Lawyer” for his professional reputation in the private sector as a partner at Crenshaw, Dupree and Milam in Lubbock.
Duncan is married to the former Terri Patterson. He has two children, Lindsey Pike, a public school teacher and counselor, and Matthew, a recent graduate of Texas Tech. Mrs. Duncan also has two children, Justin Patterson of Austin and Clayton Patterson, a recent graduate of Texas Tech. All of their children are Texas Tech graduates.
Duncan succeeds Kent R. Hance, who has served as chancellor since December 2006 and has agreed to continue to serve the TTU System as chancellor emeritus.