Say­ing he was ‘ready for a change,’ McCall dives in as chan­cel­lor

Austin American-Statesman - - METRO & STATE - By Theodore Kim

Brian McCall’s corner of­fice has, ar­guably, Austin’s best view. His sweep­ing panorama in­cludes the Texas Capi­tol dome, the Uni­ver­sity of Texas foot­ball sta­dium and St. Mary’s Cathe­dral.

It is a new vista for McCall, who was named chan­cel­lor of the Texas State Uni­ver­sity Sys­tem in March af­ter two decades as a state rep­re­sen­ta­tive from Plano.

McCall keeps a few me­men­tos from his leg­isla­tive days, in­clud­ing a gavel meant to rec­og­nize his ten­ure chair­ing the House Cal­en­dars Com­mit­tee. But McCall’s new job has kept him busy. In his first big move, he hired a new pres­i­dent for Sam Hous­ton State Uni­ver­sity.

An­other fi­nal­ist for the chan­cel­lor po­si­tion, state Sen. Jeff Went­worth, R­San An­to­nio, re­cently fired off a let­ter to the uni­ver­sity sys­tem crit­i­ciz­ing McCall’s hir­ing.

McCall re­cently sat down at his Austin of­fice to dis­cuss his new gig:

I knew I wanted to be in higher ed­u­ca­tion ever since I was in the Leg­is­la­ture. And there are qual­ity peo­ple here from the pres­i­dents all the way down. It’s just a high­qual­ity group of peo­ple.

I spent 20 won­der­ful years rep­ re­sent­ing the city of Plano. And I have many friends there. I still have some farm­land there. But af­ter 20 years, I was ready for a new chal­lenge. I was ready for the change.

The kick so far has been to hire a new pres­i­dent of Sam Hous­ton State (Dana Gib­son). She’s won­der­ful. And we have some more hir­ing to do.

The bud­get is chal­leng­ing. We are the third largest of the six uni­ver­sity sys­tems in Texas. And we’re the lean­est. We work very ef­fi­ciently. So bud­get cuts af­fect no one more than us.

I don’t know if I can re­ally add any­thing. It’s in the past, and I don’t know if it serves any­one, or the uni­ver­sity, for me to com­ment on it. says bud­get is top chal­lenge as Texas State Sys­tem chan­cel­lor.

Brian McCall

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