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Thursday, August 21, 2014

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Adm. McRaven remarks from the Aug. 21 Board of Regents meeting

Admiral William H. McRaven was named the next chancellor of The University of Texas System by the Board of Regents on Aug. 21, 2014. Here are Adm. McRaven's remarks immediately following his appointment:

Thank you very much Chairman Foster. I have to tell you I am very excited about the opportunity to serve the University of Texas System.

When I look at what is going on around the campuses, the research facilities, the health institutions. When I see the degree of commitment and dedication of the students, the faculty and staff, and the administrators. When I see the impact the UT System is having on the lives of Texans everywhere—it is hard not to be impressed by this magnificent institution.

In Chancellor’s Cigarroa’s 2011 Framework for Advancing Excellence he outlined some basic tenets for the UT System—tenets I believe are universal and timeless. He said we must never settle for mediocrity, instead we must follow a continued trajectory towards greatness. 

I like that term.  Greatness.  When people around Texas, around the Nation and around the world think of the UT System—greatness should be the first word that comes to mind.

His second tenet was that teaching and scholarly research go hand in hand—both demanding an unwavering pursuit of excellence. 

Great universities  demand the best from their students,  their faculty, their researchers and their administrators. Great universities not only teach—they educate, they build leaders, they create thinkers, and doers—across every aspect of life. This university system should be known for producing tomorrow’s leaders in every field of endeavor.

And his third tenet was that a great university must be resilient adapting to the changing environment around it.

I have seen the change from my current position in the military.  The demographics are changing.  The technology is changing. The funding model is changing. We must not only keep up with the pace of change—we must lead the change.

I want to thank the Chairman and all of the regents for their support of my appointment. My decision to accept this position was a direct result of my personal meetings with the Regents and those that reached out to me by phone. Their passion, their commitment, their desire to make this system the best in the world-was unmistakable—and something my wife, Georgeann, and I wanted to be part of.

I also want to thank Chancellor Cigarroa for his phenomenal leadership over the past six years and for taking the time to call me so very soon after my appointment. 

His enthusiasm for the remarkable work being done and the great people doing it—was obviously a source of tremendous pride.

I’d also like to thank the Texas Legislature for its continued support to UT and I look forward to building a strong relationship with all the law makers who represent the people of Texas.

Finally, I am most excited about the opportunity to work with the Presidents, the faculty, the students, the Chancellor’s Council, the Texas Exes and all those who want to continue UTs legacy of greatness.

Again, Chairman Foster, Vice Chairmen Powell and Hicks, Regents, Presidents, and System officers—thank you again for this tremendous honor.  I look forward to serving with each of you. Thank you very much.

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