US: First Hispanic leader of a major university system

A Mexican-American paediatric surgeon will become the nation's first Hispanic to preside over a major university system when Dr Francisco Cigarroa takes the helm at the University of Texas System, which faces financial woes and complaints about diversity, reports the Chicago Tribune.

Cigarroa, a 51-year-old pediatric transplant surgeon from Laredo, looks at his new job as the system's new chancellor starting last week as an opportunity to exceed expectations. "Challenges really don't dissuade me from pursuing important opportunities," he told The Associated Press. "If you're an optimist, you see opportunities, and that's the way I've been brought up."

Cigarroa, as the chief executive officer of the UT System, will help administer an $11.5 billion operating budget and preside over 15 campuses with more than 194,000 students. He faces complaints about soaring tuition costs, a growing battle over admissions policies and a hurricane-ravaged medical school and health center in Galveston.
Full report on the Chicago Tribune site