Search Committee Named for First President of TTUHSC El Paso

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Texas Tech University System Chancellor Kent Hance today (July 12) named a search committee to assist in selecting the first president of Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center (TTUHSC) at El Paso.

“An excellent group of individuals has been selected to serve on our presidential search committee,” Hance said. “The first president of Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center at El Paso will greatly shape the future of our institution and set a course for its continued success. I am confident this committee will help identify a leader who will uphold our strong standards of excellence and build upon our current momentum in El Paso.”

The 13-member committee is chaired by J. Robert Brown, former chairman of the TTU System Board of Regents. Brown is a graduate of Texas Tech University and owner and president of Brownco Capital, LLC, a private investment company. The committee will help identify potential candidates, assist with initial screenings and ensure that their respective constituency groups are kept up-to-date on the progress of the search. Candidate recommendations will be forwarded on to the chancellor. The chancellor will provide a recommendation to the Board of Regents, who will make a final decision. Members of the search committee include:


  • J. Robert Brown (Committee Chairman) – president of Brownco Capital, LLC; former chairman of the Texas Tech University System Board of Regents; El Paso



  • Richard A. Castro – president and CEO, Castro Enterprises; El Paso

  • Dr. Kelly Cronin – vice chancellor, Institutional Advancement, Texas Tech University System; Lubbock

  • L. Frederick “Rick” Francis – member, Texas Tech University System Board of Regents; chairman of WestStar Bank; El Paso

  • Grace Hernandez – chief of staff, Office of the President, Texas Tech University; Lubbock

  • Joshua Hunt – executive vice president, Hunt Companies, Inc.; El Paso

  • Dr. Rajkumar “Raj” Lakshmanaswamy – interim associate dean of research, associate professor of Biomedical Sciences at the Paul L. Foster School of Medicine; basic science research director of the Center of Excellence in Cancer Research, TTUHSC El Paso; El Paso

  • Tim Lancaster – member, Texas Tech University System Board of Regents; Abilene

  • Dr. Gustavo “Gus” Martell – physician, Eastside Women’s Healthcare; El Paso

  • Nancy Neal – member, Texas Tech University System Board of Regents; Lubbock

  • Emma Schwartz – executive director, Medical Center of the Americas Foundation; El Paso

  • Ben Lock (Ex Officio, Non-voting member) – executive assistant to the chancellor, secretary of the Texas Tech University System Board of Regents, Texas Tech University System; Lubbock

  • Dr. Joseph Rallo (Ex Officio, Non-voting member) – vice chancellor, Office of Academic Affairs, Texas Tech University System; Lubbock


On May 18, 2013, Gov. Rick Perry signed Senate Bill 120, which established TTUHSC El Paso as a freestanding, fourth component institution in the TTU System. Tedd L. Mitchell, M.D., president of TTUHSC (Lubbock), is serving as interim president of TTUHSC El Paso until a new leader is appointed. A search consultant will be retained to assist with the search committee.

TTUHSC El Paso is home to the Paul L. Foster School of Medicine, Gayle Greve Hunt School of Nursing and Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences. The Foster School of Medicine and Hunt School of Nursing have officially been approved for full accreditation, each of which graduated its first class of students during the May 2013 commencement ceremonies. Preparations for the transition from a regional campus to a comprehensive university with degree-granting authority have been underway since 2011. The TTU System Board of Regents gave its approval for undertaking this initiative in May 2012.

About the Texas Tech University System

The Texas Tech University System is one of the top public university systems in the state of Texas, consisting of four component institutions and operating at 12 academic sites and centers. Headquartered in Lubbock, Texas, the TTU System has an annual operating budget of $1.5 billion and approximately 17,000 employees focused on advancing higher education, health care, research and outreach.

In 2012, total research expenditures approached $200 million and total enrollment exceeded 43,700 students for the first time in the TTU System’s history. Whether it’s contributing billions of dollars annually in economic impact or being the only system in Texas to house an academic institution, law school, and medical school at the same location, the TTU System continues to prove that anything is possible.

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