UT Regents select McRaven as next chancellor

The nine-member University of Texas Board of Regents on Tuesday night voted unanimously to name Adm. William McRaven the sole finalist to be Texas' next chancellor, succeeding Francisco Cigarroa.

McRaven will not be confirmed as Texas' chancellor until the end of a state mandated 21-day period.

Currently the head of Special Operations Command for the United States, McRaven is set to retire from that post on Aug. 28. That's the earliest McRaven could begin his succession of Cigarroa.

HornsDigest.com learned from two well-placed sources on Monday that McRaven, a Texas graduate who led the mission that took out Osama Bin Laden, would be named to this position.

Since August 8, 2011, McRaven has served as commander of the highly secretive United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM), headquartered at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, Florida.

The tough-minded leadership and consensus-building abilities of McRaven, 58, were ultimately the deciding factors in the UT regents board's selection of McRaven, one source said.

The UT regents have a special meeting set for 6 pm CT on Tuesday that includes "discussion and appropriate action" on a new Texas chancellor.

HornsDigest.com reported on July 18 that McRaven had been offered the job.

Richard Fisher, president and CEO of the Dallas Federal Reserve Bank, was also a finalist for the UT chancellor's job, the sources said.

Pending confirmation, McRaven takes over as chancellor after a tumultuous three years in which school president Bill Powers, Cigarroa and Texas regents could never seem to get on the same page. It resulted in seemingly constant acrimony. 

Cigarroa announced in February he planned to return to surgery as head of Pediatric Transplant Surgery at the UT Health and Sciences Center in San Antonio when UT regents found his replacement.

"The leadership of Admiral McRaven is so universally respected, it's what this great university needs right now," one source told HornsDigest.com.

McRaven attended Texas on a track scholarship before graduating in 1977 with a bachelor's degree in journalism.

Upon graduation from UT, McRaven married his college sweetheart, Georgeann Brady, signed up for Navy SEAL training and deployed to the Philippines.

The military was in his blood. His father, Colonel Claude McRaven, was an Air Force colonel who flew British Spitfires during World War II and played two seasons for the Cleveland Rams of the NFL.

A member of the Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps, William McRaven earned a master's degree from the Naval Postgraduate School and went on to command every level of the U.S. special operations, including the Navy SEAL Team Three.

In 2001, McRaven was injured during a parachute jump and was on the sidelines during the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

While recuperating, McRaven served at the National Security Council as the first Deputy National Security Adviser for Combating Terrorism. He was the principal author in 2006 of the government’s National Strategy for Combating Terrorism.

McRaven is credited with organizing and executing Operation Neptune Spear, the raid on Osama Bin Laden that ultimately led to Bin Laden's death.

Earlier this year, McRaven delivered the 2014 commencement address at Texas, which has been viewed on YouTube more than 2.1 million times.


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