Regents chair lays it out: Chancellor spent too much

Texas Tech University System Board of Regents Chairman Rick Francis has come clean, albeit — and admittedly — a bit late.

He has declared that Texas Tech Chancellor Bob Duncan, who is retiring in a few days, spent too much money on administrative matters. Thus, the board of regents — in a 5-4 vote — decided to go “in another direction.” The regents didn’t renew Duncan’s contract.

So, he announced his retirement.

Here is Francis’s explanation, as published in the Amarillo Globe-News.

I accept the explanation. However, it doesn’t quite go far enough.

First of all, I need to know whether Duncan’s budgeting proved detrimental to Texas Tech’s growth. I keep reading about student enrollment growth; about how Tech achieved Tier One status; about the growth of its various colleges of medicine, dentistry, pharmacy.

And oh, yes, the school wants to build a college of veterinary medicine in Amarillo.

This is bad for the school? This has taken the university backward? No and no.

One more issue needs a resolution, Dr. Francis. It’s that “informal vote” you took in executive session. Texas Open Meetings Law requires governing bodies to vote in the open. They aren’t allowed to cast “informal votes” in secret, which apparently is what regents did.

I no longer live in Amarillo, but I remain a constituent of the Tech University System, given that it is run by the state; and, yep, my wife and I still live in Texas.

I would like to know how regents managed to circumvent state open meetings requirements by casting that straw vote in secret.

Yes, I appreciate the acknowledgement that the regents chairman was slow to respond to demands for an explanation.

But has the university suffered under Duncan’s tenure as chancellor? Oh, no. It has prospered.

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