AMARILLO, Texas– Former Texas Tech Chancellor Robert Duncan received the only standing ovation after the Texas Tech Veterinary School of Medicine broke ground in Amarillo on Thursday.
Duncan announced in August 2018 that he was retiring, and State Senator Charles Perry voiced concerns that Duncan retired under pressure.
Perry said he believed that Duncan “retired under pressure because of ‘internal friction’ over the proposed veterinary school in Amarillo.”
“There’s no doubt that there was big power players, political power players, in the process,” Perry said. “You can’t take politics out of the politics.”
In 2015, Texas Tech announced its plans to develop a veterinary school- which would focus on large animals, as well as rural communities.
Perry said Texas Tech’s proposal met the needs of not only the university, but the region and state as well.
In 2018, the Amarillo Economic Development Corporation pledged $69 million for the Texas Tech System for the purpose of building the state’s first veterinary school in more than a century, EverythingLubbock.com reported.
The Texas Tech vet school is now the second in the state of Texas, along with Texas A&M’s College of Veterinary Medicine.
In a November 2018 interview with EverythingLubbock.com, former TTU Regent Windy Sitton said she had heard talks of the vet school for years.
“We could never get it off the ground, and I think it’s because A&M was a very powerful school, and a wonderful school, but a good lobby,” Sitton said. “The thing that’s so interesting to me is that Bob Duncan becomes chancellor, and he is securing the vet school. He got it done, where the rest of us couldn’t get it done. So he’s getting the vet school done, and we oust him?”
An article online from a group called Empower Texans claimed Duncan was asked to retire because of misappropriation of funds allegations.
Those allegations were never backed up publicly with evidence, and an open records request by EverythingLubbock.com showed there was no written mention of misappropriation (or any other similar claim) by the regents or the staffers in the chancellor’s office.