Jerry Hodge Leads Campaign to Oust Texas Tech Regent Chair

News

After more than a decade of being on the Board of Regents of the Texas Tech University System and serving twice as the chairman, a new campaign wants Rick Francis out.

A website called firefrancis.com launched today and calls for the removal of board chair Rick Francis.

A news release sent announcing the site’s launch said Francis had a lead role in forcing the departure of the system’s Chancellor, Robert Duncan and his alleged efforts to undermine a proposed Tech Veterinary School in Amarillo. 

The person leading this effort is none other than former Amarillo Mayor and businessman Jerry Hodge. 

If you’ll remember two weeks ago, we reported on how Texas Tech’s President said Hodge pulled a $10 million donation from the Amarillo Vet School. 

According to the President, he said the email sent from Hodge said in part  “It is not the institutions, it is the people running both Texas Tech (the Five Regents) and A&M leadership, that is the reason we are upset.”
    
The news release said Hodge’s plan of action with this website and campaign includes an aggressive social media initiative, paid advertising and other methods.
Simply put, Hodge said, “Francis needs to be fired.”

Here’s how Francis responded to the new campaign and website against him.

“The focus of the Texas Tech University System Board of Regents is providing Dr. Mitchell and our university presidents the resources and support necessary to maintain our system as a first-class institution of higher education. We remain committed to our strategic priorities as we approach a pivotal legislative session.”

As we reported last month, after four years in his position, Duncan announced he would step down. 

Only citing “it’s time to retire, move on and begin to tackle new challenges.” 

Hodge said otherwise.

He said the campaign was launched ahead of a board of regents meeting scheduled for Thursday in Lubbock.

He’ll provide an update on his campaign against Francis on Monday. 

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