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Hispanic Surgeon on Short List to Head Texas System


The search for a chancellor for the University of Texas System has narrowed to two candidates, including a Hispanic surgeon, Texas newspapers have reported.

Still in the running are John Montford, an AT&T executive, and Francisco Cigarroa, president of the UT Health Science Center, both the San Antonio Express-News and Houston Chronicle reported.

UT officials did not confirm to the AP that they had narrowed their search to the two San Antonio men, but regents have a meeting scheduled for Thursday and Friday (Dec. 18-19) in Austin and both candidates were expected to be interviewed at that time.

As the UT system’s chief executive officer, the chancellor oversees nine academic and six health-related institutions. Mark Yudof left the chancellor job in June to head the University of California system.

Montford, a former prosecutor and state senator from Lubbock, was chancellor of the Texas Tech University System from 1996 to 2001. He is a senior vice president for AT&T. Earlier this year, Gov. Rick Perry told several legislators in San Antonio that he thought Montford would be a good choice for the UT job.

Cigarroa, a pediatric and transplant surgeon and native of Laredo, has headed the Health Science Center in San Antonio for the past eight years. He had announced he plans to step down next year to return to the operating room. Ciogarroa is the institution’s third president and the first Hispanic to lead a health science center in the United States.

According to his HSC profile, he earned a bachelor’s degree from Yale in 1979 and received his medical degree from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas in 1983. During his 12 years of postgraduate training, Dr. Cigarroa was chief resident at Harvard’s teaching hospital, Massachusetts General in Boston, and completed a fellowship at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore.

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