Correction: The starting date for McRaven’s term was incorrectly labeled as his appointment date in a previous version of this article. The Mercury regret this error.
Bill McRaven, the replacement for Francisco Cigarroa as the chancellor of the UT System, started his term on Jan. 5.
As chancellor, McRaven, along with the Board of Regents, governs the overarching UT System, which is made up of nine academic institutions and six health care institutions.
Cigarroa, who had been serving as chancellor since 2009, will return to UT Health Science Center at San Antonio, where he was president for nine years, to serve as the head of the institution’s pediatric transplant service.
“We were aware that getting Admiral McRaven to consider the UT System position might have presented a challenge, given the high demand nationally for his leadership,” Board of Regents Chairman Paul Foster said in a statement from the UT System. “We were honored that he chose the UT System as the most important place where he could continue to serve his nation upon his pending retirement from a most distinguished military career.”
McRaven, who is a four-star admiral in the U.S. Navy, spent 37 years as a SEAL, finishing his time in the armed forces as commander of the U.S. Special Operations Command. As part of his command, McRaven oversaw counterterrorism operations worldwide, including the raid on Osama bin Laden’s compound in 2011.
He is a veteran of several military operations, including Desert Shield, Desert Storm, Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom.
He has advised the president, secretary of defense, secretary of state and other U.S. leaders of defense issues. He worked routinely with both the Bush and Obama administrations during his time in the Navy.
McRaven has also advised the heads of state in Afghanistan, Iraq, Jordan and Yemen on counterterrorism policy.
After graduating from Roosevelt High School in San Antonio, he went to UT Austin on an ROTC scholarship. He graduated in 1977 with a degree in journalism. After his time in college, McRaven earned his master’s degree from the Naval Postgraduate School.
“I would be honored to have the opportunity to serve The University of Texas System and the people of Texas,” McRaven said in a statement. “My wife Georgeann and I are excited about returning home to our family and friends. I thank the Regents for their trust and confidence in my leadership, and I look forward to this extraordinary responsibility with enthusiasm and gratitude.”
McRaven will be touring UT system campuses later this semester, including a stop at UTD.
“We’re looking forward to welcoming Chancellor McRaven to our campus in coming days, and to sharing the UT Dallas story with him,” UTD President David Daniel said in an email to The Mercury. “We look forward to helping him get to know our outstanding students and our highly qualified faculty and our hardworking staff. We’re also eager to hear his thoughts and impressions regarding our campus.”