UT System News Release
James Richard Huffines Elected Chairman of UT System Board of Regents
Date: June 2, 2004
AUSTIN – The University of Texas System Board of Regents unanimously elected James Richard Huffines of Austin as its chairman on Wednesday (Jun. 2). Huffines, appointed to the board by Governor Rick Perry in 2003, becomes the 35th chairman of the board. He succeeds Charles Miller of Houston who resigned as chairman in May.
Huffines, a commercial banker, is chairman, Central and South Texas, of PlainsCapital Bank in Austin and executive vice president of PlainsCapital Corporation. As chair of the Board's facilities planning and construction committee, he oversaw a capital improvement program of over $4.6 billion for U.T. institutions across the state; he has also been a member of the Board's executive committee. He has served as a member of the academic and health affairs committees and is a regental representative on the Board of Directors of the University of Texas Investment Management Company (UTIMCO).
As his first official act as new chairman, Huffines took the opportunity to thank his predecessor. “Rarely has the U.T. System had such a strong and dedicated leader as Charles Miller,” Huffines said. “Few chairman have maintained his level of energy and commitment to improving the U.T. System. I am confident that Charles Miller will be remembered as an outstanding chairman. His knowledge and love of higher education have helped elevate U.T. to the national stage on many issues.”
Huffines will serve as chairman for the remainder of Miller's term which expires in February 2005. Miller will continue to serve as a Regent until a replacement is named by Governor Perry.
“I would like to extend my most sincere appreciation for this expression of trust and confidence in electing me your chairman,” Huffines said in assuming his new position. “It is important to remember that, since 1881 when U.T. was first created, there have been just slightly more than 200 Texans who have had the privilege to serve as a regent. I am deeply honored and humbled to serve as your chairman.”
Wednesday's election of a new chairman was held by telephone conference call at a special called meeting of the board. There are nine members of the Board appointed by the Governor to staggered six-year terms.
The University of Texas System is the largest higher education system in the state and one of the largest in the U.S. The U.T. System has 15 campuses, including nine academic and six health institutions, an enrollment exceeding 177,000 students, more than 87,000 employees, and an annual operating budget of $7.8 billion (FY 2004). The U.T. System confers one-third of the state's undergraduate degrees and educates three-fourths of the state's health care professionals annually.