Daily Texan, February 01, 1995
The terms of three UT System regents who have devoted part of their work to the advancement of
minorities ends Wednesday. "There has been a heavy emphasis placed on recognizing the need for
diversification," said outgoing regent Robert Cruikshank. Cruikshank, Dr. Mario Ramirez and
former U. S. Rep. Tom Loeffler will end their six-year terms on the board, where they shared
jurisdiction over the system's $4 billion budget with six other regents.
Gov. George W. Bush has not yet appointed replacements for the outgoing regents,
but one UT administrator speculated that Loeffler, who worked closely with Bush during his campaign,
will be reappointed. The governor's office has been overloaded with new appointments and has not had
time to name new regents, said Bush spokesman Ray Sullivan. The outgoing regents will remain on the
board until appointments can be made, he added. All three were appointed by former Gov. Bill Clements,
a Republican. During the six years Cruikshank spent on the Business Affairs and Audit Committee,
the board saw an increase of millions of dollars in purchases from historically underutilized
businesses, said Lewis Wright, associate vice chancellor for business affairs. The Historically
Underutilized Businesses program is a legislatively required plan to increase the number of state
contracts awarded to companies owned by women or minorities. HUB purchases increased by 51 percent
from fiscal year 1993 to 1994, to a total of $90.3 million.
Cruikshank said of his time on the board, "It's one of the most enjoyable experiences I've had
come my way in my adult years."
Ramirez, chairman of the Health Affairs Committee, has been active in minority recruiting and
retention, and has met with minority students and faculty groups throughout the system, said Art
Dilly, executive secretary of the board. Ramirez said his years on the board have been wonderful
and very productive. The board has seen a big effort to place more doctors in rural areas, he said.
Ramirez practices family medicine in Rio Grande City. The Health Affairs Committee dispenses about
half of the $4 billion budget that the board has jurisdiction over to
the six medical schools in the UT System, Dilly said. The regents have restructured many of the
system's medical institutions in order to be competitive in the market-driven health business,
Cruikshank served four years as chairman of the Asset Management Committee,
which is responsible for the system's investments, during the time the committee restructured the
investments, he said. Cruikshank, a retired public accountant and Houston resident, said he found
the job as chairman challenging. Loeffler, a Republican, has been "the system's eyes and ears
and sounding board and door-opener for us in our nation's capital," Dilly said. The former
congressman and graduate of the University currently works as a lobbyist at the federal level,
Dilly added. Loeffler was in Washington, D.C., Tuesday and could not be reached for comment.
He was one of the youngest members of the board and served as chairman of the Business Affairs
and Audit Committee. "I don't think any university has been served more capably than by
these people," said board Chairman Bernard Rapoport. "Everybody forgets everything about
politics. Everyone thinks about what is best for those 150,000 kids at the universities."
The nine regents are appointed by the governor for six-year terms. Terms are staggered, so that
every two years, three of the regents can be replaced. The new regents will spend a year or two
learning the complexities of the UT System, Dilly said. The board's unspoken policy is that no
new members serve as chairs of the board or of committees, he added. Cruikshank said he has seen
amazing dedication on the part of the regents. "Being a regent will take as much time as
anyone wants to devote to it," Dilly said.