Tucker appointed Board of Regents chairman

AUSTIN—Regent Sara Martinez Tucker, appointed in 2015 by Governor Greg Abbott to a six-year term on The University of Texas System Board of Regents, was unanimously elected chairman of the board at a special called meeting Monday.

Tucker was nominated by Chairman Paul Foster, and the motion was seconded by Vice Chairman Steve Hicks.

Sara Martinez Tucker photo
Chairman Sara Martinez Tucker

“It has been an immense honor to serve as chairman of the board these last four years, but it was time to pass the gavel to a new leader,” Foster said. “It was a pleasure to nominate Regent Tucker, who has brought great insight and guidance to the Board over the last two years. The UT System and all of its institutions are going to benefit greatly under her very capable leadership.”

Prior to her appointment as regent, Tucker, a native of Laredo and resident of Dallas, served as the nation’s top higher education official as under secretary of the U.S. Department of Education under President George W. Bush. There, she oversaw all policies, programs, and activities related to postsecondary education, vocational and adult education, and federal student aid.

Tucker also served as the CEO and president of the Hispanic Scholarship Fund, where she pursued an aggressive goal to double the rate of Hispanics earning college degrees. Prior to her work in the nonprofit sector, she was a long-time executive at AT&T.

Tucker currently serves as chairman of the Regents’ academic affairs committee, in addition to serving on the health affairs, finance and planning, and audit, compliance and risk management committees.

“Sara Martinez Tucker is going to be an incredibly effective chairman, and I know that I and everyone at the UT System is looking forward to working with her in her new capacity,” Chancellor William McRaven said. “She gives tremendous time and energy to the UT System, and she is extremely knowledgeable and cares very deeply about higher education. We could not ask for a better leader to guide us forward.”

Tucker earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism and a master’s degree in business administration from UT Austin. Tucker has been named as an Outstanding Young Texas Ex and a Distinguished Alumna at UT Austin and among many honors has received honorary doctorates from the University of Notre Dame, Boston College, and the University of Maryland University College.

“I am honored and humbled by this great privilege, and I am grateful to my colleagues for entrusting me with this responsibility. Having the opportunity to work with extraordinary board members, system administration leaders and visionary university presidents to ensure that UT students and patients have access to the best possible outcomes is and will always be my top priority,” said Chairman Tucker, following her appointment.

About The University of Texas System
Educating students, providing care for patients, conducting groundbreaking basic, applied and clinical research, and serving the needs of Texans and the nation for more than 130 years, The University of Texas System is one of the largest public university systems in the United States. With 14 institutions and an enrollment of more than 234,000 students, the UT System confers more than one-third of the state’s undergraduate degrees, educates approximately two-thirds of the state’s health care professionals annually and accounts for almost 70 percent of all research funds awarded to public institutions in Texas. The UT System’s operating budget for FY 2018 is $18.3 billion, including $3.6 billion in sponsored programs funded by federal, state, local and private sources. With more than 20,000 faculty – including Nobel laureates and many members of the National Academies – and nearly 80,000 health care professionals, researchers, student advisors and support staff, the UT System is one of the largest employers in the state.

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