At Texas Tech, Chancellor Robert Duncan’s Resignation Is Being Called ‘Regentgate’

Duncan was an advocate of a Texas Tech-run veterinary school. Some say that didn’t sit well with powerful politicos. And Texas A&M.

August 21, 2018 7:22 am| , , ,

In Lubbock, Texas Tech is in a tizzy over what’s being called regentgate. The story centers on Robert Duncan, a career public servant who tendered his resignation as chancellor of the Texas Tech University System last week. But the story goes that he effectively got pushed out because of plans for a veterinary school and pressure from very high places.  

Ross Ramsey has been writing about it for the Texas Tribune.

Of the fallout, Ramsey writes, “Outgoing Texas Tech University Chancellor Robert Duncan’s career as a public servant was straight out of a Frank Capra movie, or a civics textbook. The university’s regents forced him out anyway.”

Ramsey says there is no “solid explanation” for Duncan’s ouster from the Texas Tech chancellor’s job. He says Duncan told the local paper a month ago that he had no plans to leave. Last week, he resigned, giving just two week’s notice. And that’s left Tech-watchers guessing.

“The big controversy at Texas Tech has been whether to create a new veterinary school in Amarillo or not,” Ramsey says. “Texas A&M, which has the only vet school in the state has been against it.”

Ramsey points out that current U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry has close ties to A&M, and appointed many of the school’s current regents when he was Texas governor.

“So people who aren’t sure exactly who did this are variously pointing their fingers at the regents, at Perry, at [Gov.] Greg Abbott, at [Texas A&M Chancellor] John Sharp – and waiting for the regents to explain why they ran Robert Duncan out,” Ramsey says.

Written by Shelly Brisbin.