- Associated Press - Friday, January 9, 2015

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - The University of Texas System’s chancellor, best known for directing the 2011 raid that killed al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden in Pakistan, said he sees similarities between his new civilian job and his old one as a four-star admiral.

Bill McRaven, 59, retired in August as the head of U.S. Special Operations Command, a role in which he commanded 67,000 Navy SEALs, Army Rangers and other special operations troops. He told the Austin American-Statesman (https://bit.ly/1BNww9s ) Thursday that after 37 years in the military, the transition to his new position this week has been smooth, saying that both jobs involved overseeing a sizable enterprise with a multi-billion dollar budget, as well as testifying before lawmakers.

The arrival of McRaven, who leads 15 academic and health campuses, comes at a time when members of the Board of Regents are divided over various issues and one regent is the subject of a criminal investigation for his handling of confidential student records, the newspaper reported.

McRaven said his first priority is to “build the trust, or in some cases to rebuild the trust,” which he said will require meeting in person with regents, campus presidents, faculty members, donors and other stakeholders.

“You have to build personal relationships, so that when something doesn’t go quite right, the people below you don’t see a conspiracy theory,” McRaven said. “You have to communicate, constantly. Up the chain of command, in my case to the Board of Regents, down to the institutions, across to the students and … the other constituents.”

The new chancellor said he will focus on what he calls “the three bins” of education, research and clinical services. He also said the search to replace UT-Austin president Bill Powers, who is stepping down in June, is on track, with candidate interviews underway.


Information from: Austin American-Statesman, https://www.statesman.com

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