Higher Ed

Texas selects Milliken to lead university system

Editor’s note: This story has been updated from an earlier version to include comment from a UNC system spokesman.

James Milliken

On Saturday, the University of Texas System named James Milliken, the former chancellor for City University of New York, as the sole choice to lead their system.

“We are honored to announce Mr. Milliken as our sole finalist for this critical leadership role,” Regents’ Chairman Sara Martinez Tucker said. “His experiences in higher education leadership are deep and broad, and he has very effectively guided university systems that have many of the characteristics and strategic aspirations embedded throughout UT’s academic and health institutions. Moreover, he has enjoyed strong support from elected officials, students, and campus leaders in his previous posts, all of whom described him as someone they could count on in times of great opportunity and challenges.”

Under Texas state law, the university governing boards must name finalists for chancellor at least 21 days before making the appointment final.

The Austin American-Statesman reported last week that UNC System President Margaret Spellings’ name was floated for consideration.

On Sunday, Josh Ellis, Associate Vice President for Media Relations for the UNC system, denied reports that Spellings was ever a candidate for the position in Texas.

Rex Tillerson, the former CEO of Exxon Mobil and President Trump’s one-time Secretary of State, was another name on UT’s short list, according to published reports.

Spellings, became president of the UNC system in March of 2016, and has been focused in recent months on data modernization and talent retention among faculty and staff of the 17 campus UNC system.

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