Bill McRaven came to Texas an American military hero, charged with leading one of the country’s largest public university systems at a time it needed a steady hand.
The retired Navy Admiral and former special operations leader, who planned the raid that killed Osama Bin Laden, now faces an uncertain future as chancellor of the University of Texas System. After multiple clashes with lawmakers and a new makeup of the Board of Regents he works for, McRaven’s three-year contract expires at the end of the year and it’s an open question as to whether he’ll be back.
“I want to see the direction that the board is going,” McRaven told the Texas Tribune this month. “The fact of the matter is I think there are some things we have to talk about. I’ve got to find out whether or not the board wants me to stay. If they do, that’s a decision point for me. If I’m not adding value to the University of Texas System, then maybe I’m not the right guy for the job.”
The board’s chairman, Paul Foster, recently expressed support for the chancellor, but he declined to discuss McRaven’s future with The Associated Press. The board’s reticence to publicly commit to McRaven beyond this year is an about-face from the goodwill that greeted him when he took the job in late 2014 at an annual salary of $1.9 million.
“This isn’t the time of year that the Board of Regents generally discusses personnel issues,” board spokeswoman Jenny LaCoste-Caputo said, noting that the board and McRaven will meet in July and that personnel discussions usually happen in August. “The board will be meeting this summer in a working retreat with Chancellor McRaven and presidents to discuss mission, budget and priorities for the UT System and the chancellor is looking forward to that discussion.”
McRaven came to Texas with an impeccable reputation for leadership that commanded immediate respect at time the board was openly clashing with state lawmakers. A University of Texas graduate and career military man,…