AUSTIN – The governing board of The University of Texas System today (Dec. 18) unanimously named Francisco Cigarroa, M.D., president of the UT Health Science Center at San Antonio and a pediatric transplant surgeon, as the sole finalist for chancellor of The University of Texas System after being interviewed by regents for the top post at a special called meeting of the Board.
“We are extremely pleased Dr. Cigarroa has agreed to be considered for the position of UT System chancellor,” Regents’ Chairman H. Scott Caven, Jr. said. “The UT System is a national leader in higher education and health care, therefore the selection of a chancellor is one of the most important decisions this governing board will ever make. Dr. Cigarroa is an accomplished administrator, scientist and faculty member with the experience and proven track record that would be invaluable in advancing the interests of the System and our nine academic and six health institutions. The Board selected him from among an extraordinary group of candidates, and on behalf of the board I would like to thank all the candidates who have taken part in this very important process.”
Cigarroa has served as president of the UT Health Science Center – San Antonio since 2000. A member of the Institute of Medicine, he is a recognized pediatric transplant surgeon and researcher whose articles on the principles of surgery in infants and children have appeared in several scientific publications. During his tenure as president of the health science center, sponsored research expenditures increased from $86.1 million to $146.3 million.
He joined the health science center faculty in 1995, where prior to his appointment as president he was director of pediatric surgery and director of abdominal transplant surgery. He serves on the medical staffs at Christus Santa Rosa Hospital, Christus Santa Rosa Children’s Hospital and University Hospital, among others.
An accomplished fundraiser, Cigarroa was the first Hispanic appointed to lead a major academic health center in the United States. He announced last October that he would be stepping down as president of the health science center.
Cigarroa received a bachelor’s degree from Yale University and his medical degree from UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas. He was the chief resident at Massachusetts General Hospital and completed a fellowship at Johns Hopkins Hospital.
Cigarroa is a fellow of the American College of Surgeons and a diplomate of the American Board of Surgery. He serves on the board of several organizations, including the Greater San Antonio Chamber of Commerce and the San Antonio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.
Cigarroa and his wife, Graciela, an attorney, have two daughters. Cigarroa is a native of Laredo.
The selection of Cigarroa as the finalist for the chief administrative position within the UT System is the result of a search for the successor to Mark G. Yudof, who assumed the presidency of The University of California system last June. More than 50 nominations and applications were considered for the position.
Under state law, university governing boards must name finalists for chancellor at least 21 days before making an appointment.
Kenneth I. Shine  , M.D., the UT System’s executive vice chancellor for health affairs, has been serving as interim chancellor.
The chancellor of the UT System serves as the chief administrative officer of one of the largest public systems of higher education in the nation, overseeing nine universities and six health institutions. The UT System has an annual operating budget of $11.5 billion (FY 2009) including $2.5 billion in sponsored programs funded by federal, state, local and private sources. Student enrollment exceeded 194,000 in the 2007 academic year. The UT System confers more than one-third of the state's undergraduate degrees and educates nearly three-fourths of the state's healthcare professionals annually. With more than 81,000 employees, the UT System is one of the largest employers in the state.