Texas Tech University System Chancellor Kent Hance this afternoon announced the sole finalist for the position of Texas Tech University President.  The finalist is Dr. M. Duane Nellis (pictured), the current president of the University of Idaho.

Chancellor Hance said Dr. Nellis was unanimously recommended to him by the Texas Tech University System Board of Regents.

“Texas Tech University has never been in a better position and calls for an esteemed president to further the university’s extraordinary growth and recent achievements,” Hance said. “Duane Nellis is a visionary leader with an outstanding record of accomplishment in higher education. I am confident Dr. Nellis will advance Texas Tech University and look forward to working with him.”

Nellis has served as University of Idaho President since July 2009. “It is an honor to be selected as sole finalist for the Texas Tech University presidency,” Nellis said. “Texas Tech University is one of the nation’s rapidly-emerging public research universities, and I am grateful to be a part of the university’s exciting and promising future.”

One of Nellis' previous positions was provost of Kansas State University. Chancellor Hance said K-State Football head coach Bill Snyder, who is a friend of Hance, spoke highly of Dr. Nellis and said he did a great job with K-State's academic programs.

According to Texas Tech, Nellis earned his bachelor’s degree in earth sciences/geography at Montana State University. He also earned his master’s and doctoral degrees in geography from Oregon State University. Throughout his career, Nellis has authored more than 100 articles and reports, 17 books and book chapters and has been funded by more than 50 sources such as NASA, the National Geographic Society, the U.S. Agency for International Development and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Chancellor Hance said that Nellis writing accomplishments was one of the things allowed Nellis to stand out in the presidential search.

Nellis will become the 16th president in Texas Tech history and succeed Interim President Lawrence Schovanec. Schovance served as interim president after the resignation former President Guy Bailey in 2012 when he went to the University of Alabama. As noted by Chancellor Hance during today's press conference, state law requires 21 days must pass before final action is taken by a university governing body for the appointment of a president.