UT System picks its chancellor finalist

The University of Texas System regents have chosen James Milliken as sole finalist to lead the 14-campus system as chancellor.

Milliken led The City University of New York as chancellor up until June 2018 and has 30 years of administrative experience at major university systems in three states.

If appointed, Milliken will succeed William McRaven, who led the UT-System as chancellor since 2015, stepping down at the end of May citing health issues. Former UT Austin President Larry Faulkner has filled the position as interim chancellor since.

The board met Saturday and voted unanimously on the selection, which was announced in the early afternoon in a news release.

“We are honored to announce Mr. Milliken as our sole finalist for this critical leadership role,” Regents’ Chairman Sara Martinez Tucker said in the release. “His experiences in higher education leadership are deep and broad, and he has very effectively guided university systems that have many of the characteristics and strategic aspirations embedded throughout UT’s academic and health institutions. Moreover, he has enjoyed strong support from elected officials, students, and campus leaders in his previous posts, all of whom described him as someone they could count on in times of great opportunity and challenges.”

Milliken hold a bachelor’s degree from the University of Nebraska and a law degree from New York University.

As chancellor of CUNY, Milliken led a network of include four-year colleges and universities, community colleges, and graduate and professional schools, including law and medicine, which consists of 24 campuses and more than 270,000 students.

Prior to CUNY, Milliken served as president of the University of Nebraska from 2004 until 2014. Here he previously held several positions between 1988 and 1998 including vice president of external affairs, secretary to the Board of Regents, professor of law and professor of public affairs.

From 1998 until 2004, Milliken served as senior vice president at the 16-campus University of North Carolina system, where he led strategic and economic development, federal and state relations, and university advancement.

“The University of Texas System is clearly among the leading university systems in the country, and it has great potential to do even more to serve the needs and ambitions of Texas and the world,” Milliken said in the release. “I am honored to be the finalist for the position of chancellor of this remarkable institution, and I would welcome the opportunity to play a lead role in advancing this system of outstanding universities in the 21st century.”

The system must now wait 21 days, under state law, before formally appointing Milliken. A board meeting will be scheduled to approve such move.

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