Texas Governor Greg Abbott today announced the appointment of Kevin P. Eltife to a second six-year term as a member of The University of Texas System Board of Regents. First appointed as a regent in 2017, Eltife was elected board chairman in December 2018. His first term was slated to run through February 2023, but with two years left on his current term Governor Abbott reappointed Eltife to a new six-year term.
One of Eltife’s early priorities as a Regent was to streamline the UT System’s administrative operations, with the intent of reducing overhead to redirect funds to UT institutions to support their students and patients. He oversaw a sweeping review of System Administration functions that resulted in a reduction of full-time employee positions from more than 900 when he joined the board to approximately 440 positions today.
As board chairman, Eltife has also led efforts to ensure UT institutions remain as affordable as possible, with six of the eight UT academic institutions now offering expanded financial assistance programs. At UT Austin, for example, the regents approved the establishment of a $160 million endowment to provide no-cost tuition for Texas students whose families earn less than $65,000 per year, and reduced tuition for students from families making less than $125,000 per year.
Eltife’s commitment to student success also includes funding from the board to enhance mental health initiatives and campus safety and security improvements. Just last month, Eltife requested an open discussion on the wellbeing of students and cited it as the top priority of the UT System. Last year when Regents learned of security gaps near the UT Austin campus due to a lack of adequate city police presence, they allocated $8 million to make the perimeter of campus safer for students for students to walk and congregate.
In his hometown of Tyler, Eltife was instrumental in the concept and decision to unite UT Tyler and UT Health Science Center at Tyler to comprehensively serve the educational, health and economic needs of East Texas. Working closely with state legislators and UT Tyler President Dr. Kirk Calhoun, Eltife now remains focused on the creation of a proposed new medical school to ensure that the region has adequate health care professionals for the long term, and to provide students with a clear pathway from undergraduate education to graduate and professional programs in their communities.
Eltife’s public leadership and service extend well beyond The University of Texas System. He formerly served as a state senator representing District 1, as mayor of Tyler and as a member of the Tyler City Council. He also previously served as a gubernatorial appointee to the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board and has served voluntarily in leadership roles with numerous nonprofit and educational organizations. He currently serves on the board of the Tyler Police Foundation and as a director at Citizens 1st Bank, and is the owner of Eltife Properties Ltd.
Eltife earned a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from The University of Texas at Austin in 1981.
About The University of Texas System
For more than 130 years, The University of Texas System has been committed to improving the lives of Texans and people all over the world through education, research and health care. With 14 institutions, an enrollment of nearly 240,000 students and an operating budget of $21.7 billion (FY 2021), the UT System is one of the largest public university systems in the United States. UT institutions produce more than 64,000 graduates annually and award more than half of the state’s medical degrees. Collectively, UT-owned and affiliated hospitals and clinics accounted for more than 9.2 million outpatient visits and 1.8 million hospital days last year. UT institutions also are among the most innovative in the world, collectively ranking No. 3 for most U.S. patents granted in 2019, and the UT System is No. 1 in Texas and No. 2 in the nation in federal research expenditures. The UT System also is one of the largest employers in Texas, with more than 21,000 faculty – including Nobel laureates and members of the National Academies – and more than 85,000 health care professionals, researchers and support staff.