His hiring finalized, Milliken to take charge of UT System on Sept. 17


Highlights

Milliken, who’s 61, served from 2014 until the end of May as chancellor of the City University of New York.

University of Texas System regents made it official Monday: James B. Milliken, a veteran of higher education administration, will be the next chancellor of the 14-campus system.

The regents’ unanimous vote during a specially called telephone meeting was little more than a formality, given that they had named Milliken the sole finalist for the job Aug. 4. Under state law, the regents had to wait at least 21 days before taking a final vote. He becomes chancellor-designate without pay effective immediately, allowing him to begin learning his way around the system before his appointment takes effect Sept. 17.

Milliken, 61, served from 2014 until the end of May as chancellor of the City University of New York, which has seven community colleges, 11 four-year schools and six graduate, honors and professional schools. He previously was president of the four-campus University of Nebraska and before that was senior vice president of the University of North Carolina System.

“Chancellor-designate Milliken has worked in practically every facet of higher education administration for large, dynamic university systems in three states,” regents Chairwoman Sara Martinez Tucker said. “In each case, our regents were impressed with his ability to develop a strategic vision, garner support for it, and then implement it with positive, measurable results. The regents were also particularly interested in his innovations in the areas of student success and access.”

Milliken told news reporters after the regents’ vote that he was grateful for the chance to lead the UT System, in part because of the regents’ deep commitment to higher education and the state’s can-do character.

“I would not have been attracted to very many opportunities at this point in my career,” he said.

Milliken said he would advocate for legislative funding for campuses, support their research aspirations, promote the importance of good teaching and encourage campuses to improve graduation rates. The regents are working on recommendations to streamline the system’s administrative offices in Austin, and Milliken said he would do all he can to help make that enterprise as cost-effective and efficient as possible.

“A key part of the job is to establish strong relations with the political leadership of the state,” Milliken said, adding that he has already had a “terrific” meeting with Gov. Greg Abbott. He said he would be reaching out to legislative leaders soon.

Larry Faulkner, a former UT-Austin president, has been serving as interim UT System chancellor since Bill McRaven stepped down at the end of May. McRaven, a retired admiral, cited health problems as well as a desire to teach, write and pursue other interests.

Milliken has dealt with health problems as well, notably throat cancer for which he received months of chemotherapy and radiation treatments. He told the American-Statesman that his doctors pronounced him cured and put that in writing, a document he shared with the regents.

A native of Nebraska, Milliken earned a bachelor’s degree at the University of Nebraska and a law degree at New York University.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Texas News & Politics

Voters to ponder a big-ticket item in form of affordable housing bond
Voters to ponder a big-ticket item in form of affordable housing bond

Lorenzo Rivera stood outside his house on a recent morning as the mosquitoes nipped at him and workers gathered to fix his home’s ailing foundation. Without the repairs, Rivera’s house would have started to slide down the sloped lot on Melridge Place in the Zilker neighborhood, where he has lived for nearly 50 years. But the faulty foundation...
Hit-and-run victim found dead hours after suspect talked to deputies, failed to report crash, officials say
Hit-and-run victim found dead hours after suspect talked to deputies, failed to report crash, officials say

A pedestrian who authorities say was struck by a vehicle in Hays County on Saturday evening was found dead hours after the driver came into contact with a deputy and failed to report the crash, Texas Department of Public Safety officials said. Michael Delaney May, 32, was found dead off the roadway on Goforth Road, DPS officials said. Troopers were...
‘Cap remap’ drives UT students to complain about crowded rides to campus
‘Cap remap’ drives UT students to complain about crowded rides to campus

As she travels on a crowded Capital Metro bus during her daily commute to the University of Texas, Emma Boardman-Larson sees a silver lining. “It’s really packed like sardines,” said Boardman-Larson, a senior studying music who lives north of the UT campus and rides the No. 10 bus to get to class. “That might honestly be safer...
NEW INFO: Police identify boy, 10, killed in Saturday crash
NEW INFO: Police identify boy, 10, killed in Saturday crash

Austin police identified a 10-year-old boy killed in a multi-vehicle crash near Manor on Saturday morning as Luis Angel Tinoco. Medics responded at 10:33 a.m. to a crash on the U.S. 290 service road near Texas 130 in Northeast Austin, Austin-Travis County EMS has said. According to a preliminary police investigation, a 2001 Dodge truck traveling on...
AISD board to decide Monday which East Austin elementary to modernize
AISD board to decide Monday which East Austin elementary to modernize

To address declining enrollment in some of its East Austin schools, the Austin school board on Monday night is expected to choose which elementary school — Sanchez, Metz or Zavala — to modernize. The two schools the board passes up could be at risk of closure. The school district administrators have recommended that Sanchez receive the...
More Stories