Energy executive James “Jim” Hackett has become another contender to replace retiring UT System Chancellor William McRaven, according to the Houston Chronicle.
Hackett, 63, is now the second oil businessman to be reported as a potential candidate by the media. In March, the Wall Street Journal reported Rex Tillerson, now a former U.S. State Secretary and ExxonMobil CEO, was being “courted by the UT System” to become its new chancellor.
Hackett currently serves as the Executive Chairman & COO of the oil company Midstream of Alta Mesa Resources, according to Bloomberg. Previously, Hackett was the chairman of energy giant Anadarko Petroleum Corp. from 2006 to 2013. Hackett said there was not much value in rumors but did not comment about whether he has been approached or interested in the position, according to the Chronicle.
“I am very engaged in, and happy with, my work at Alta Mesa Resources and Kingfisher Midstream," Hackett wrote in an email to the Chronicle.
The search for a new chancellor is being headed by Sara Martinez Tucker, the UT System Board of Regents Chairman, along with a committee of two Board Vice Chairmen and two former Board Chairmen. With input from UT System presidents and executive officers, the committee will recommend roughly 3–5 potential candidates, UT Spokeswoman Randa Safady said. The Board of Regents will then name a finalist and vote for his or her approval.
Safady said in statement only the search committee has knowledge of candidates.
"It is not uncommon for individuals outside of the search process to comment on the process itself and provide names of presumed candidates," Safady said. "However, nobody beyond the chancellor search committee has direct knowledge of candidates under consideration, and therefore any information offered by others is nothing more than speculative."
Safady added that when a finalist is named will depend on the progress of the committee's search.