Main page content

McRaven to Step Down as Chancellor in 2018

This news release is issued by the Office of the Board of Regents.

William H. McRaven, Chancellor of The University of Texas System, announced today that he will step down in 2018.  McRaven became Chancellor in 2015, following a 37-year career as a decorated military leader, including his previous role as a Navy four-star admiral and ninth commander of the United States Special Operations Command.

McRaven has been public about chronic health issues over the past few years, and a recent illness played a key role in his decision. “This decision to transition to private life was one of the hardest I have ever made, but recent health concerns prompted Georgeann and me to reflect on the years ahead and think seriously about things we still want to do as a family. While I’m on the road to recovery and am grateful to my UT physicians and the good wishes and prayers of our many friends and colleagues, I believe it is time to segue to several other passions in my life that I’d like to experience, and much of that will also involve teaching and writing,” McRaven said.

“I informed Board Chairman Sara Martinez Tucker of my intentions, and I was moved by her support of me, both professionally and personally,” McRaven added. “I cannot adequately put into words how much I have enjoyed working with the Regents and the brilliant minds of faculty and students across The University of Texas System. And I will forever be grateful for the lifelong friends I now have with generous individuals across our state and country who have served the UT System and its institutions through engagement and philanthropy.”

Tucker expressed her gratitude to McRaven during the Board of Regents meeting. “I want to thank the Chancellor for his service to the UT System and commend him for his leadership in areas of importance to the Board. Among these are ensuring we have the best talent leading our institutions, driving inclusion and healthy campus climates, and challenging us to make investments so that important national and global stakeholders are asking, 'What does Texas think?'" Tucker said.

Tucker praised McRaven’s influence on her by adding, “Your legacy for me, Chancellor, will be to think big and bold as we define our strategy to advance each of our 14 institutions to their highest potential."

McRaven has led the hiring of six new presidents for UT institutions since his arrival, and he worked to drive equal opportunity and fairness in hiring and promotion processes, including closing the gender gap in compensation. Additionally, he worked with the Regents to invest in areas in which UT institutions will have an opportunity to assume national leadership roles, such as the neurosciences, national security, student success, health care, and others.  

McRaven has also pledged to the Regents that he would be interested in considering an advisory role in the management and operation of the Los Alamos National Laboratory, if the UT System is successful in its bid, currently being reviewed by the Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration.    
“The Board has asked the Chancellor to stay through a term more consistent with the academic year, and I’m very happy to report that he has agreed,” Tucker said.

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 a projected 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, funded in part by $3.6 billion in sponsored programs from federal, state, local and private sources. With more than 20,000 faculty – including Nobel laureates and 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.

News Contact Information

Karen Adler: • 512-499-4360 (direct) • 210-912-8055 (cell)
Melanie Thompson: • 512-499-4487 (direct) • 832-724-1024 (cell)