TYLER — UT’s Board of Regents disclosed plans to realign UT Tyler and UT Health Science Center at Tyler in February. On Monday, the board announced Dr. Kirk Calhoun will lead the merged institutions as the President. Following the special meeting, Chairman Kevin Eltife told KTBB, “We are at a point now where we need to name who will be the ultimate president when the two institutions are aligned. So what we did today was say, Dr. Calhoun, President Calhoun will be the president of the aligned institution in the Spring.”
The Board Chair continued, “That will probably happen in February or March. So, we are just saying he is our choice to be the president of the aligned institutions when it’s completed.” Dr. Calhoun, led the UT Health Science Center at Tyler for almost 18 years, and is already leading efforts for his institution to receive licensing and accreditation approvals to establish a new medical school.
In February, Regents announced their intention to launch the medical school to serve East Texas. As part of an accreditation process for both institutions to exist as one, one president is required with responsibility for all functions of the university. When asked if the coronavirus had slowed down progress, “No, I think if anything COVID kind of tells us put health care and medical issues to the forefront. The next big step for us is to get legislative approval next session. That will start in January of 21, and the good news is we do not need any funding from the state, we just need their blessing. So that is our next step, to go before the legislature and to try to get that final piece and then we will be off and running.”