A&M Regents Name Sole Finalist for Chancellor Position

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Dr. Michael D. McKinney, senior executive vice president and chief operating officer at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, was named the sole finalist for the position of chancellor of The Texas A&M University System by the Board of Regents during a special telephonic meeting Wednesday.

McKinney, a family physician, has served in leadership positions at the UT System since 2002, in his current position since Sept. 2003, and previously as vice chancellor for health affairs at the UT System administative offices in Austin. He also served as acting dean of the medical school earlier this year. He is a former chief of staff to Governor Rick Perry and served as commissioner of the Texas Health and Human Services Commission for three years and as a member of the Texas House of Representatives for eight years.

"Dr. Mike McKinney brings a vast amount of experience and energy to the A&M System as both a longtime public servant and a recognized leader in the private sector," said John D. White, chairman of the Board of Regents. "His many years of leadership in managing complex organizations in academia, government and business give him the right blend of expertise to add tremendous value to our System’s growth and the enhancement of our universities and agencies as we seek to advance the A&M System to the next level.”

I am honored and humbled by the Board of Regents' decision today," McKinney said. "I already have a great love and respect for the Texas A&M System and look forward to getting to know the System leadership and learning more about our universities and agencies. Strengthening the System through cooperation and collaboration; conducting a visioning, planning and accountability process; and identifying how we can further support the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board's Closing the Gaps initiative will be a few of my first priorities."

At the UT Houston Health Science Center, McKinney has managed operations of the university’s eight components, as well as the medical school’s clinical practice plan, with specific focus on meeting financial challenges; addressing organizational planning and development; achieving institutional efficiencies; advancing the educational, research and ethical mission of the Health Science Center; and building a strong clinical practice.

From 2002-03, he served as vice chancellor for health affairs at the UT System, where he concentrated on business management and financial issues related to the System's six health science institutions.

During 2001 and 2002, McKinney served the State of Texas as chief of staff to Governor Rick Perry. From 1995 to 1998, he was Texas commissioner of health and human services. In this role, he oversaw 11 state agencies, a staff of 64,000 and a budget of $24 billion. He was appointed to that position by then-Governor George W. Bush. From 1984 to 1991, he represented Leon, Madison, Grimes, Houston and Montomery Counties in the Texas House of Representatives. He was speaker pro-tempore of the House from 1989 to 1990.

McKinney earned a bachelor's degree from the University of Houston and an M.D. from the U.T. Medical Branch in Galveston.

His other career experiences include serving as CEO of a Medicaid health care plan; a member of the Physician Payment Review Commission in the Federal Office of Technology; and a family practitioner for 16 years in Centerville, Texas.

A member of both the American Medical Association and Texas Medical Association, McKinney serves on the Memorial Hermann Hospital System Board of Directors, Harris County Public Healthcare System Council and the Statewide Task Force on Access to Health Care in Texas, "Code Red." He is vice chair of the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board's Formula Advisory Committee for Health-Related Institutions.

His many honors and achievements include receiving the Physician's Recognition Award from the American Medical Association earlier this year and the Presidential Award of Merit for Exemplary Service from the Texas Academy of Family Practice. As a state representative, he was recognized as one of the top 10 best legislators by both Texas Monthly magazine and The Dallas Morning News, and as an outstanding legislator by the Texas Medical Association and the Texas Department of Commerce.

His areas of focus in his numerous projects, publications and presentations have included organizational planning and development; financial management of complex organizations; public and health policy; children's health; border health initiatives; indigent care; long-term care; managed care; and Medicaid reform.

The Board of Regents may consider the appointment of McKinney to the position of chancellor after the 21 days required by state law for public notice of the appointment with the Texas Secretary of State. Current A&M System Chancellor Robert D. McTeer announced his retirement in August.

About The Texas A&M University System

The A&M System is one of the largest systems of higher education in the nation, with a budget of $2.6 billion. Through a statewide network of nine universities, seven state agencies and a comprehensive health science center, the A&M System educates more than 103,000 students and makes more than 15 million additional educational contacts through service and outreach programs each year. Externally funded research brings in $600 million every year and helps drive the state’s economy.