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Texas Tech Chancellor Robert Duncan abruptly announced in an email to system employees Monday that he will be retiring from his position at the end of the month.

Robert Duncan (Source: Texas Tech University System)

Duncan’s announcement follows shortly after the system’s Board of Regents met Thursday and Friday to discuss university leadership and personnel. Since Friday, allegations have been circulating that Duncan’s retirement was requested due to misappropriation of university funds.

Texas Tech Board of Regents Finance Chairman John Steinmetz denied knowledge of any unethical or illegal conduct by Duncan:

“Bob Duncan is a man of integrity. Sadly, I have heard a rumor of misappropriation of funds as the reason for his retirement. I have known him for 18 years and have twice served as chair of the board’s finance committee. I can say unequivocally, that to my knowledge, Bob Duncan has not done anything unethical or illegal during his tenure as chancellor of the Texas Tech University System. The Texas Tech family greatly appreciates his leadership of the system.”

Duncan has served as Texas Tech University System’s CEO since July 2014. He has overseen Texas Tech University, Texas Tech Health Science Sciences Center, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso, and Angelo State University—altogether a $2 billion higher education enterprise.

Duncan wrote in his email to TTU employees, “As we approach the start of a new school year, I look back with pride on the tremendous strides we have made in recent years. But I have also reflected on my life, my decades of public service, and realize that, at 65, it’s time to retire, move on and begin to tackle new challenges.” He went on to say, “In doing so, I’m grateful for the support I have received from the Board of Regents, the System, our universities, and all those who love Texas Tech University as much as I do. I am committed to a smooth transition to ensure that our progress continues unabated.”

Prior to his appointment as chancellor, Duncan served in the Texas Legislature for over two decades as a state representative and then state senator. He also currently serves as Chairman of the Council for Public University Presidents and Chancellors in Texas—a term that is scheduled to end January 2019.