Texas Tech University System Chancellor Kent Hance has announced his plans to retire.

At a press conference following the Texas Tech Board of Regents’ executive session on Friday, Hance announced that he plans to retire at the end of the year, but will stay on until a replacement is found.

Hance has served as Chancellor since December 1st, 2006, when he replaced David Smith.

He spearheaded the Vision & Tradition capital fundraising campaign, which raised more than $1 billion and concluded this year, and also oversaw the continuing expansion of Texas Tech University.

Lubbock-area U.S. Representative Randy Neugebauer weighed in on Hance’s retirement.

“I’ve been honored to call Kent Hance both a teacher and a friend.  His leadership at Tech has been exemplary, and I’ve enjoyed watching Tech’s growth during his term.  In his time at Tech, Kent took a great university and turned it into one of the premier educational institutions in the country.  His Vision and Tradition Campaign raised $1 billion for the university, which is an incredible achievement that will have lasting benefits for students for years to come.  I’d like to congratulate Kent on a successful tenure as Chancellor, and wish him all the best going forward.  From one Red Raider to another, Wreck ‘Em, Kent.”

The Board of Regents approved naming Hance as Chancellor Emeritus. He will maintain an office on the Texas Tech campus and will continue to teach his popular leadership class.

Hance concluded his remarks saying “I love Texas Tech. Dream no little dreams, and God bless Texas Tech.”

Texas Governor Rick Perry released a statement Friday afternoon discussing Hance's tenure at Texas Tech.

“Chancellor Kent Hance’s decision to step down as head of the Texas Tech University System marks the end of an incredible era not just for the System, but for higher education in Texas. Thanks to his leadership, higher education is more affordable and accessible to thousands of Texans. As chancellor, Hance helped the Texas Tech University System raise an astonishing $1 billion, much of it during the nation’s economic downturn. He also led the effort to hold the line on tuition increases and creation of a $10,000 degree at Angelo State University. His legacy will be felt by countless Texans for generations to come, whether they are graduates who proudly hang a diploma on their wall from one of the System’s outstanding institutions, or anyone who benefits from the ideas, innovations and initiatives brought to life through the Texas Tech System.  Please join Anita and me in thanking Chancellor Hance for his service to Texas.”

We’ll bring you more on this story as it develops.