Texas Tech University System Chancellor Robert L. Duncan announced today (Friday, Jan. 8, 2016) that Texas Tech University President M. Duane Nellis has decided to step down effective Jan. 22.
“I appreciate Dr. Nellis’ important contributions and service,” Duncan said. “He has worked hard to raise the national profile of Texas Tech University, and he and his wife, Ruthie, have been deeply committed to Texas Tech and the Lubbock community.”
Nellis will remain on staff as a tenured member of the faculty, and he will continue to work with Duncan on a series of strategic priorities, including expanding international opportunities, innovation, and enhancing the Honors College.
“I want to thank Chancellor Duncan and express my congratulations on the successes the Texas Tech University System has achieved,” Nellis said. “I am proud of the role Texas Tech University has played as the flagship institution in reaching those accomplishments and applaud the faculty, staff and students, who collectively elevated Texas Tech University to new levels of national success.”
Duncan said he will meet with the Texas Tech University System Board of Regents to discuss naming an interim president and defining the search and selection process for a new president.
Nellis was named the 16th president of Texas Tech University on March 22, 2013 and began serving as president in June 2013. Prior to coming to Texas Tech, Nellis served as president of the University of Idaho. Previously, he was provost and senior vice president at Kansas State University and dean of the Eberly College of Arts and Sciences at West Virginia University.
During his time at Texas Tech University, Nellis has focused on campus-wide innovation and entrepreneurship, enhancing diversity on campus and developing community partnerships. He has hired additional staff and faculty as the university’s enrollment has grown to almost 36,000. Likewise, Texas Tech has added research professorships and enhanced efforts toward inter-disciplinary research. He also was instrumental in the university’s recent reaccreditation from SACSCOC (Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges).