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Eltife elected chairman of The University of Texas System Board of Regents

Keven P. Eltife
Kevin P. Eltife

Regent Kevin P. Eltife, appointed in 2017 by Governor Greg Abbott to a six-year term on The University of Texas System Board of Regents, was unanimously elected chairman of the board at a special called meeting Thursday.

Eltife was nominated by Regent Janiece Longoria and the motion was seconded by Regent Steve Hicks. 

“As I approach my first legislative session in Texas, I am very much looking forward to working with Chairman Eltife, who brings invaluable experience and leadership to his new role,” Chancellor James B. Milliken said. “His powerful combination of having served with distinction as a state senator and a UT regent, along with his long-time public service to multiple UT institutions, positions him extremely well at this critical time to advance the missions and aspirations of UT’s 14 academic and health institutions.”

Eltife, a native of Tyler, Texas, has extensive leadership in government, business and the nonprofit sectors. A 1981 graduate of UT Austin, Eltife has spent much of his life—more than 27 years—in public service leadership roles, including on the Tyler City Council as a councilmember and subsequently as mayor, and as a longtime state senator, representing District 1. 

While mayor of Tyler, Eltife received national recognition for the creation of a “pay as you go” business plan that strategically eliminated general obligation bond debt and lowered property tax rates. Today, his plan still serves as a model for city government in other locales around the state. As a state senator, Eltife was widely regarded for his bipartisan cooperation and his leadership in finance, economic development, open government, health and human services, and government organization.

Eltife has served under Governor Abbott and Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick, and under Governor Rick Perry and Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst. He also served as a member of the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board as an appointee of Governor George W. Bush.

Numerous nonprofit and educational organizations throughout East Texas have benefitted immensely from Eltife’s guidance, some of which include the Tyler Area Chamber of Commerce, East Texas Communities Foundation, Hospice of East Texas, Tyler Police Foundation, East Texas Food Bank, UT Tyler and UT Health Science Center at Tyler. Moreover, Eltife has received honors from many state and regional groups for his leadership, including the Texas Association of Business Champion of Free Enterprise Award, the Texas Municipal League’s Legislator of the Year Award, and the Texas Association of Realtors Hall of Fame award. Texas Monthly magazine named Eltife one of its Top Ten Legislators.

“I am grateful for the opportunity to continue to serve our state, and doing so through the University of Texas Board of Regents is a responsibility I am honored and humbled to have,” Eltife said, following the board’s vote. “Working with my excellent colleagues on the board and with the chancellor and university presidents, I am eager to ensure that UT institutions are positioned to be the best among their national peers and deliver the best possible outcomes in education, research, discovery and patient care. We have the talent and drive to do it, and we will make sure that our resources are allocated as strategically as possible to achieve success. I enthusiastically accept the challenges and opportunities with which I will be presented.”

About The University of Texas System
For more than 130 years, The University of Texas System has been committed to improving the lives of Texans and people all over the world through education, research and health care. With 14 institutions, an enrollment of more than 235,000 students and an operating budget of $19.5 billion (FY 2019), the UT System is one of the largest public university systems in the United States. UT institutions produce nearly 59,000 graduates annually and award more than one-third of the state’s undergraduate degrees and almost two-thirds of its health professional degrees. Collectively, UT-owned and affiliated hospitals and clinics accounted for more than 7.8 million outpatient visits and 1.6 million hospital days last year. Across UT institutions, research and development expenditures total $2.7 billion – the second highest among U.S. public higher education systems – and the UT System is regularly ranked among the top 10 most innovative universities in the world. The UT System also is one of the largest employers in Texas, with more than 21,000 faculty – including Nobel laureates and members of the National Academies – and nearly 85,000 health care professionals, researchers, student advisors and support staff.

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