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Governor Abbott Appoints Regents, Chairman Eltife to New Terms

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Austin skyline, downtown from Tower
Photo by Marsha Miller.

AUSTIN, Texas — Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has reappointed Kevin P. Eltife to The University of Texas System Board of Regents. Eltife was first appointed as a regent in 2017 and elected board chairman in December 2018. His first term was slated to run through February 2023, but with two years left on his current term, Abbott reappointed Eltife to a new six-year term.

“I’m incredibly grateful that Gov. Abbott has decided to reappoint Chairman Eltife,” said Jay Hartzell, president of The University of Texas at Austin. “The chairman has lived a life of public service and is one of the great advocates for affordable education in Texas. He understands the transformative role that The University of Texas plays in the life of our state, and like the governor, he is a great friend of his alma mater, UT Austin.”

The governor also reappointed R. Steven “Steve” Hicks and Nolan Perez to serve an additional term on the board, and he appointed another great Longhorn, Stuart Stedman, for an initial term.

“Steve Hicks is a renowned friend and supporter of UT Austin, as are his fellow Longhorns, Nolan Perez and Stuart Stedman. Together, they have powerfully demonstrated their commitment to higher education in Texas over many years,” added Hartzell. “They will bring to the board passion for our research and teaching missions, and I look forward to their guidance and energy.”

One of Eltife’s early priorities as a regent was to streamline the UT System’s administrative operations to redirect funds to UT institutions in support of students and patients. As board chairman, Eltife also led efforts to ensure UT institutions remain affordable, with six of the eight UT academic institutions now offering expanded financial assistance programs. At UT Austin, for example, the regents approved a $160 million endowment to provide no-cost tuition for Texas students whose families earn less than $65,000 per year, and they reduced tuition for students from families making less than $125,000 per year.

Hicks was appointed to his first term as a regent by Gov. Rick Perry in 2009. He was reappointed in 2010 and again by Abbott in 2015. Hicks served as vice chairman of the board from 2011 to 2017 and now serves as the chairman of the Finance and Planning Committee. In 2017, Hicks made a donation to the School of Social work at UT Austin, which was renamed the Steve Hicks School of Social Work in his honor. Hicks owns and serves as executive chairman of Capstar Partners LLC, a private investment firm in Austin. In 2018, he was named a Distinguished Alumnus by the Texas Exes. Hicks received a Bachelor of Arts in government from The University of Texas at Austin.

Perez was appointed as a regent by Abbott in the spring of 2019. He is the CEO of Gastroenterology Consultants of South Texas PLLC and previously served in the U.S. Navy as a Medical Corps officer. He received the Navy Commendation and Navy Achievement medals. Perez received a Bachelor of Arts from The University of Texas at Austin and a medical doctorate from the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio.

Stedman, newly appointed to the board yesterday, is currently the chairman of the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board and president of Stedman West Interests Inc. He is actively involved at The University of Texas at Austin as a member of the UT Development Board and the Blanton Museum’s National Leadership Board, among other roles, and he is a former chairman of the Liberal Arts Advisory Council. Stedman received a Bachelor of Arts, Juris Doctor and Master of Business Administration degrees from The University of Texas at Austin.

All four appointments are subject to Senate confirmation.