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University of Texas wants Rex Tillerson as next chancellor

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Former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson could be headed back to his alma mater after being ousted from the State Department this week by President Trump, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Sources familiar with the conversations tell the newspaper that the University of Texas has reached out to Tillerson following his firing with the objective of securing the former Exxon CEO as the school’s next chancellor.

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Several members of a search committee have made “a hard push” to get Tillerson on campus, the Journal reported, and Tillerson is said to have been receptive of the efforts so far.

In a statement, the university told the Journal that university staff are “not involved in the search process for the Chancellor, nor are we apprised of the names of any candidates or potential candidates.”

Current Chancellor William McRaven announced late last year that he plans to step down in May due to health reasons. McRaven, a former Navy SEAL, has served as chancellor since 2015.

Kent Hance, a former chancellor in the Texas Tech University System, told the Journal that Tillerson’s most attractive qualities to the school were likely his connections to the Texas state government.

“The most important aspect of the role is having a relationship with members of the state legislature,” said Hance, who is described as Tillerson’s longtime friend. “He would be great at that.”

On Thursday, Tillerson made his final remarks as America’s top diplomat, praising his fellow State Department officials but not directly thanking the president.

“Never lose sight of your most valuable asset, the most valuable asset you possess: your personal integrity,” Tillerson said Thursday. “Only you can relinquish it or allow it to be compromised. Once you’ve done so, it is very, very hard to regain it.”

Tags Donald Trump Exxon Rex Tillerson Rex Tillerson State Department Trump administration University of Texas White House

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