Regarding Dr. Francisco Cigarroa’s decision to step down as president of the UT Health Science Center at San Antonio

AUSTIN – University of Texas System Board of Regents’ Chairman H. Scott Caven, Jr., and UT System Interim Chancellor Kenneth I. Shine, M.D. issued the following statements today (Oct. 31) regarding Dr. Francisco Cigarroa’s decision to step down as president of the UT Health Science Center at San Antonio by August 31, 2009.

Statement from Chairman Caven:

“On behalf of the UT System Board of Regents, I would like to express our deep appreciation to Dr. Cigarroa for his tireless service as president of the UT Health Science Center at San Antonio.  Francisco’s commitment to education, research and medicine has been a hallmark of his administration and is evidenced by the tremendous growth in each of those areas since he was named president eight years ago.  He is a wonderful ambassador within the community and his stewardship of the institution has positioned it for even greater future success.  We owe him an enormous debt of gratitude and are pleased he will remain a valuable asset to the institution and UT System family when he returns to the faculty full time and continues a distinguished career as one of the greatest pediatric transplant surgeons in the country.

“I will announce the formation of a presidential search advisory committee as soon as possible to aid in the national search for his successor so that the Health Science Center may enjoy a smooth transition of leadership at the end of the current fiscal year.”

Statement from Interim Chancellor Shine:

“Since assuming the presidency of the UT Health Science Center at San Antonio in October 2000, Francisco Cigarroa has launched the campus into a trajectory of excellence which is truly remarkable.

“He has recruited outstanding faculty and staff, deans and administrators. He has strengthened educational programs in every area, including medicine, nursing, dentistry, the graduate school and the allied health professions. Public health on the campus has been enhanced by stronger relationships with the practicing public health community. The campus for the first time has achieved more than $200 million annually in sponsored research awards. With the recent acquisition of the Cancer Treatment and Research Center (CTRC), expanded programs with its important partner, University Hospital, and additional programs with Christus Santa Rosa Hospital, he has successfully pursued stronger clinical programs.

“Dr. Cigarroa has led important efforts to partner with UT San Antonio, which have borne fruit in biomedical research, information and computer sciences and education and training programs for students, faculty and staff. President Cigarroa's community leadership, most recently exemplified by his role as chair of the Greater San Antonio Chamber of Commerce, is further testimony to his impact. His recent election to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences exemplifies the esteem in which he is held by peers across the nation.

“While we must accept his decision to step down as president of the Health Science Center, we do so with deep regret – but with heartfelt appreciation and gratitude for all he has done.”