Dr. Michael D. McKinney, 55, was named chancellor of The Texas A&M University System Wednesday by unanimous vote during a special telephonic meeting of the A&M System Board of Regents.
“I am tremendously honored the Board of Regents has entrusted me to provide leadership to the Texas A&M System. I am dedicated to serving the entire A&M family to the very best of my ability,” McKinney said upon confirmation of his appointment.
“The visionary leaders of the A&M System, its universities and agencies, have long served the people of our great state by providing world-class educational, research and service programs. The phenomenal work they do for Texas and Texans provides a firm foundation upon which we will build the future together,” McKinney said. “My priorities include helping organize a planning process through which we can prepare to meet our state’s future challenges. Especially important beginning in January, will be collaborating with members of the Legislature, Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, the State’s Executive Staff and other members of the higher education community to improve educational opportunity for Texans.”
John D. White, chairman of the Board of Regents, said, “Dr. Mike McKinney has many years of experience as an outstanding leader and manager of academic organizations as well as governmental and business institutions. Additionally, Dr. McKinney is well-respected for his service as a legislator and longtime public servant. We believe these qualifications make him uniquely suited to effectively serve the A&M System. We are extremely pleased to bring Dr. McKinney into the A&M family, and we are optimistic that his leadership will enhance our efforts in working for the betterment of our state, nation and world.”
McKinney, who will begin work Wednesday following his confirmation, succeeds Robert D. McTeer, who in August announced his retirement from the A&M System and has been named a Distinguished Fellow by the National Center for Policy Analysis.
McKinney was most recently senior executive vice president and chief operating officer at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, having served in leadership positions at the UT System since 2002. He is a former chief of staff to Governor Rick Perry, and served as commissioner of the Texas Health and Human Services Commission during former Governor George W. Bush’s first term and as a member of the Texas House of Representatives for eight years. He practiced medicine as a family practitioner for 16 years in Centerville, Texas.
McKinney’s leadership in the medical arena includes service on the Memorial Hermann Hospital System Board of Directors and as vice chair of the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board’s Formula Advisory Committee for Health-Related Institutions. His areas of focus in health care have included organizational planning and development; financial management of complex organizations; and public and health policy.
McKinney’s numerous honors include the Physician’s Recognition Award from the American Medical Association and the Presidential Award of Merit for Exemplary Service from the Texas Academy of Family Practice. Both Texas Monthly magazine and The Dallas Morning News recognized McKinney as one of the state’s top 10 best legislators.
McKinney earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Houston and an M.D. from the U.T. Medical Branch in Galveston. He and his wife, Lou Ann, have two grown sons, Steve and Seth, who play professional football for the Houston Texans and Miami Dolphins, respectively, and a teenaged son who plays football at Centerville High School.
The Board of Regents named McKinney the sole finalist for the position of chancellor of the A&M System on Nov. 1. The Board considered his appointment Wednesday after the 21 days required by state law for public notice of the appointment with the Texas Secretary of State.