Hance replaced Dr. David Smith as Texas Tech University System Chancellor on December 1, 2006.

“This is a historic moment for the Texas Tech University System,” said Chancellor Kent Hance in February. “Surpassing the $1 billion milestone nearly a year ahead of schedule is a remarkable accomplishment and a direct testament to the overwhelming support from our loyal donors. So many people have contributed to the success of this campaign, and we cannot thank you all enough.”

During Hance's tenure at Texas Tech, the system added Angelo State University, Health Sciences Center campuses in a number of cities including the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center at El Paso and continued toward his goal of 40,000 students at Texas Tech University by 2020.