LINKEDINCOMMENTMORE

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) University of Texas System Chancellor Francisco Cigarroa will resign Monday after five years of leading the 15-campus system, a tenure that included creating a new university in South Texas and a medical school at the flagship in Austin.

Cigarroa, 56, is scheduled to appear with Board of Regents Chairman Paul Foster at a news conference in Austin, where he will announce his resignation, according to two people with direct knowledge of his decision. They requested anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly before the official announcement.

Cigarroa's tenure also has been marked by tensions between the board and University of Texas at Austin President Bill Powers, a power struggle that has reached the state Capitol. Lawmakers are considering whether to impeach regent Wallace Hall Jr. over attempts to force Powers out.

Cigarroa was publicly critical of Powers at the regents' December meeting, saying Powers had to improve trust and communication when dealing with regents and system staff. But Cigarroa also said he wanted to keep Powers on the job.

Despite the disputes with Powers, who remains popular with students, faculty and influential alumni, Cigarroa has generally maintained the support of the board. One of the people with knowledge of Cigarroa's decision said the chancellor is not being forced out by the board.

Cigarroa is expected to stay on the job until his replacement is found. Cigarroa is a transplant surgeon who has maintained his medical career while serving as chancellor.

The Austin American-Statesman first reported Cigarroa's expected resignation.

The new university in South Texas also will include a medical school and merges Texas-Pan American in Edinburg and Texas-Brownsville.

Supporters said the school and its medical program are critically needed to serve the education and health care needs in the region along the Texas-Mexico border. The university is projected to enroll about 28,000 students, employ 7,000 people and generate $11 million in research expenditures.

Residents have lobbied for years to get a medical school in the region, and plans were already in place to use UT System health facilities in Cameron and Hidalgo counties. University officials and local politicians who pushed the issue believe it will result in more doctors practicing on the border and have a positive impact on overall health in one of the most impoverished and medically underserved parts of the country.

LINKEDINCOMMENTMORE
Read or Share this story: http://www.wfaa.com/story/news/local/education/2014/08/20/14167636/