Robert Duncan, chancellor of the Texas Tech University System and a former state legislator, announced Monday that he will retire at the end of the month.
“As we approach the start of a new school year, I look back with pride on the tremendous strides we have made in recent years,” Duncan said in an email to the university community. “But I have also reflected on my life, my decades of public service, and realize that, at 65, it’s time to retire, move on and begin to tackle new challenges.”
Empower Texans, a prominent conservative advocacy group, said Duncan’s announcement follows allegations that the chancellor’s retirement was requested due to misappropriation of funds. The group did not cite sources or the precise nature of the allegations.
“Bob Duncan is a man of integrity,” John D. Steinmetz, finance chairman of the Texas Tech System’s Board of Regents, said in a statement Monday evening. “Sadly, I have heard a rumor of misappropriation of funds as the reason for his retirement. I have known him for 18 years and have twice served as chair of the board’s finance committee. I can say unequivocally, that to my knowledge, Bob Duncan has not done anything unethical or illegal during his tenure as chancellor of the Texas Tech University System. The Texas Tech family greatly appreciates his leadership of the system.”
The Tech system consists of two academic institutions, Texas Tech University and Angelo State University, and two health campuses, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center and Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso.
Duncan served in the Texas Legislature for more than two decades, first in the House and later in the Senate. He became chancellor in July 2014, a position that was a bit of a homecoming; he earned his bachelor’s and law degrees at Texas Tech.
Since he became chancellor, the system has raised raised more than $585 million in philanthropic support. Its endowment has grown $150 million to $1.3 billion.
L. Frederick “Rick” Francis, chairman of the regents, said, “I’d like to thank Robert Duncan for his leadership of the Texas Tech University System the past four years. He has helped all of our universities reach new heights and pursue new, innovative initiatives. I’ve known him for many years and value his friendship. I wish him and Terri all the best in retirement.”