On Wednesday morning, Texas Tech President Lawrence Schovanec talked about the loss of a $10 million donation from former Amarillo mayor Jerry Hodge. Schovanec did so during an appearance on KFYO radio.
On Sunday morning, Hodge wrote an email to a Texas Tech Associate Vice Chancellor for Development to withdraw the proposed gift.
“Margaret and I have been discussing our gift, and the Texas Tech Regents (5 of them),” the email said. It was republished with Hodge’s permission on othersideoftexas.com.
“As you know, Chancellor Duncan is our friend and the reason we considered the gift,” the email said.
Duncan retired suddenly and by all accounts under pressure from five of the nine Texas Tech regents. Both confidential sources and named sources such as State Senator Charles Perry said Texas Tech’s proposed school of veterinary medicine was a big factor.
Duncan supported a Texas Tech vet school near Amarillo. Texas A&M opposed it.
“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,” Hodges email said.
“We continue to raise money for that school,” Schovanec said on KFYO. “We feel very good where we are with the vet school.”
Schovanec mentioned a $2.5 million gift from Caviness Meat Packers as just one example of continued support for the school. Schovanec also said the interim chancellor, Tedd Mitchell, is committed to moving forward on the vet school.
“Tedd and I met with Mr. Hodge yesterday,” Schovanec said. “He is upset and rightfully so.”
Schovanec said a gift agreement was disclosed in a way Hodge believed was improper. According to othersideoftexas.com, Texas A&M chancellor John Sharp knew about it six weeks ago, “prior to Duncan’s ouster.”
“He [Hodge] is still supportive of the vet school, very supportive,” Schovanec said. “He said ‘I’m not prepared to give the gift at this time.’”
“We loved Bob Duncan, but we also appreciate our board,” Schovanec said on KFYO. “There are two sides to this.”
“We have to be focused on the legislative session,” Schovanec said. He said funding is needed for the vet school, a dental school and a mental health center.
CLICK HERE to hear Schovanec’s interview on KFYO.