Former UT Chancellor Dan Burck Dies at 82

Screen Shot 2015-09-14 at 12.38.28 PMR.D. “Dan” Burck, BBA ’56, Life Member, died Sept. 12 after a battle with lung cancer. He was 82.

Burck was a leader at the University of Texas System for decades. He first joined the System in 1988 as vice chancellor for business affairs and rose to the position of executive vice chancellor (1992) and chancellor (2000-02).

With Burck at the helm, the UT System grew from 153,000-170,000 students and increased its research expenditures from $925 million to more than $1.1 billion. In addition to securing triple-A ratings for bonds issued by the System, Burck was instrumental in developing a compliance program that became a national model for ethical behavior, and he started a program that increased the System’s purchases from businesses owned by women, minorities, and veterans. He also served as the first advisory director of the University of Texas Investment Management Company.

Before coming to the UT System, Burck had a 33-year distinguished business career. He worked for Getty Oil from 1955-84, eventually managing the company’s diversified global holdings, and was also vice president and founding director of ESPN.

An Austin native who graduated from Stephen F. Austin High School in 1951, Burck studied business administration at UT and was a member of the Silver Spurs and Kappa Sigma. Both organizations later honored him for decades of service: In 2001 and 2015 he was named Kappa Sigma Man of the Year—first locally and then nationally—and in 2003 he was inducted into the Silver Spurs Hall of Honor. He was a longtime UT-Austin supporter who served on the Development Board and the Littlefield Society. At the time of his death, he served as independent chairman of the board of American Campus Communities, the nation’s biggest provider of student housing.

Burck was to be named a University of Texas Distinguished Alumnus this fall. The Texas Exes will honor him posthumously at an award ceremony on Nov. 6.

“Dan provided instrumental guidance for me when I first became chancellor and, I’m proud to say, also became a close friend,” UT chancellor William McRaven, BJ ’77, Life Member, Distinguished Alumnus, said in a statement. “He will be greatly missed by so many, but his legacy will forever be felt by the people of Texas.”

American Campus Communities president and CEO Bill Bayless told the Austin American-Statesman that Burck continued working from his hospital bed even in his final days.

“He just battled ferociously, and in pure Dan fashion he was actually responding to emails yesterday morning and giving us guidance at American Campus (Communities) until his very last day,” Bayless said.


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