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Gov. Abbott Appoints Three Members to UT Board of Regents

Governor Greg Abbott has announced his three choices for vacancies on the UT Board of Regents - and all three have deep ties to UT-Austin

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Governor Greg Abbott's three choices for upcoming vacancies on the UT Board of Regents include one re-appointment and two new members.

Abbott wants Steve Hicks to remain on the board and be joined by two other UT alumni  -- Sara Martinez Tucker and David Beck - who would replace Gene Powell and Bobby Stillwell.

Gov. Abbott, a 1981 graduate of the University of Texas, told the Texas Tribune that he has specific vision for the Board of Regents.

"I want people who are dedicated to the job who will focus on bringing excellence to the organization," Abbott responded. "I will give them marching orders about what I want them to achieve, and I expect them to achieve it without micromanaging."

Hicks, a member of the board since 2009, has been a strong voice in recent times in attempting to bring an end to the divisive stream of in-fighting over the running of UT-Austin-the flag ship University of the System. Hicks, current owner and executive chairman of Capstar Partners LLC, was originally appointed to the board by then-Gov. Rick Perry in 2009 and reappointed in 2011.

Sarah Martinez Tucker currently serves on the Board of Trustees at Notre Dame. She is the chief executive officer of the National Math and Science Initiative, a nonprofit organization focused on improving student performance in math and sciences. She graduated from the University of Texas with an undergraduate degree in journalism and a master of business administration. In 2005, Martinez Tucker was named one of the 25 most influential Hispanics in the United States.

David Beck, a Houston-based attorney, was honored with the Distinguished Alumnus Award by the Texas-Exes in 2010. Beck earned his undergraduate degree from Lamar University before attending UT Law School. Beck has been named by the National Law Journal as one of the top 10 trial lawyers in the United States.

The appointments become effective February 1, but must also be confirmed by the Texas Senate.