Bill McRaven, chancellor of the University of Texas System, is planning to step down at the end of the academic year in May because of health issues he has been facing, he told the UT System Board of Regents on Friday afternoon.
McRaven’s decision was not completely unexpected, given that he was briefly hospitalized in November for what he described at the time as “a perfect storm of bad health” that included severe anemia, likely a result of a chronic lymphocytic leukemia, a type of cancer he was diagnosed with in 2010 while fighting the Taliban in Afghanistan.
His hiring three years ago by the regents was considered an unconventional choice. McRaven had no experience as a higher education administrator, but he brought undeniable star power to the 14-campus operation as the retired four-star admiral and Navy SEAL who had directed the mission that resulted in the killing of Osama bin Laden.
McRaven, 62, said that serving as chancellor has been “one of the greatest experiences of my life,” but his health issues caused him to rethink his future.