On His First Day as Chancellor, McRaven Takes to Twitter

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In his 37-year military career, Admiral William McRaven went on top-secret missions as a Navy SEAL, rose to the rank of four-star admiral, commanded the military’s joint special operations, and led the mission that killed Osama bin Laden. Now he’s conquering a new frontier: Twitter.

On Monday—his first day on the job as UT System chancellor—McRaven, BJ ’77, Life Member, Distinguished Alumnus, referenced the widely beloved commencement speech in which he advised UT graduates to always make their beds (see photo, above). “New year, new beginnings!” he enthused in his first tweet on Sunday. “Excited to begin a new journey as chancellor tomorrow.”

McRaven’s May 2014 speech was watched nearly 3 million times and contributed to an overwhelmingly positive reaction when the Board of Regents announced his hiring in July. He officially retired from the Navy on Aug. 28 to take the place of former chancellor Francisco Cigarroa, who will return to practicing medicine at the University of Texas Health Science Center.

McRaven is entering a fractious political climate in Texas higher education: He joins the UT System at a time when the Board of Regents, and especially Regent Wallace Hall, have been at odds with UT-Austin leadership for years, concluding with Cigarroa giving UT president Bill Powers an ultimatum to resign or be fired. Powers will step down in June.

In a statement posted by the UT System Monday, McRaven touched lightly on that history. “…There have been disagreements and disputes that have harmed the reputation of this great UT System and, as a result, we have missed opportunities to move forward,” McRaven said. “We are better than that. It is time to resolve those arguments and look to the future. My number one priority will be to rebuild the trust between all stakeholders —all of those who want to see the best from UT institutions.”


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