Dr. Cigarroa, a nationally renowned pediatric and transplant surgeon, has led the 15-campus system since 2009. In an email to system administrators, cited by the Tribune, Dr. Cigarroa said he would return to the university’s Health Science Center at San Antonio as head of pediatric transplant surgery after his successor as chancellor was named. “This position, offered to me in late 2013, presents an opportunity for me to do what I trained so many years to do, and I view it as an important calling at an ideal time,” he wrote in the email.
According to the American-Statesman, Dr. Cigarroa’s unexpected decision “reflects his passion for surgery—he has performed liver and kidney transplants every three or four weeks since becoming chancellor five years ago—but is also a sign that he has grown weary of dealing with a deeply divided Board of Regents.”
Some regents on the nine-member board have clashed repeatedly over the past three years with William C. Powers Jr., president of the system’s flagship campus at Austin, over issues including faculty productivity and the proper balance of teaching and research. And some state legislators in Texas have accused the regents of conducting “witch hunt after witch hunt” against Mr. Powers in search of a pretext for firing him.
Dr. Cigarroa has come under pressure from both sides, with regents urging him to recommend dismissing Mr. Powers and lawmakers calling him to testify in a hearing on whether one of the regents should be impeached.
For more on this news, see this Chronicle article.Return to Top