In Surprise Move, Sul Ross State University Provost Steps Down

The university’s provost Dr. Robert Kinuncan is stepping down from the role he’s held nearly two years and is returning to the classroom, he told faculty and staff in an email this week.

(Carlos Morales / Marfa Public Radio)


By Carlos Morales

In a surprise move, Sul Ross State University provost Robert Kinuncan said he is resigning from his role beginning next month and returning to his teaching position at the Alpine university.  

The announcement comes after just a year and eight months into the role.

“It has been an honor serving as Provost at Sul Ross for the past year and a half,” Kinucan wrote to faculty and staff on Tuesday.

Kinucan took on the provost position after nearly three decades of teaching and research in Alpine. Over the years, he also took on administrative roles, and rose through managerial ranks as a division director, a dean, and an associate provost.

“I enjoyed the opportunity to work with many of you over the years and look forward to continuing to do so as I return full-time to my faculty position in the Department of Natural Resource Management.”

The news of Kinucan’s resignation was first reported by the university’s student newspaper, the Skyline

In a statement on Thursday, SRSU President Pete Gallego, acknowledged Kinucan’s resignation and said the longtime Sul Ross employee “has given the vast majority of his professional career to the betterment of Sul Ross State University—and all of us are better for his efforts.”

“While he will be missed as an administrator, we are glad that students will once gain have the benefit of his knowledge, wisdom, and experience in the classroom beginning next fall,” wrote Gallego.

Kinucan took on the provost role during a difficult time for the university, which has three satellite campuses in Del Rio, Uvalde and Eagle Pass. Months after Kinucan took the position in 2019, the university’s president Bill Kibler retired after protests over the conditions at the school’s multiple campuses and shortly after the university’s faculty senate issued a vote of no confidence in him

More recently, the university’s future under the Texas State University System was called into question when Democratic state senator Roland Gutierrez filed a bill to move SRSU to a new parent organization. Sen. Gutierrez’s bill, filed in early February, would transfer the Alpine university to the Texas A&M system. Defending the bill, Gutierrez and other proponents said the school has struggled in recent years and needed new ownership. Others, including Gallego, said they were “blindsided” by the proposal.

At the time Kinucan took the provost role, he said he was looking forward to ushering Sul Ross into a new era

“I’m going to work as hard as I possibly can to meet the challenges which will carry us forward as an institution,” Kinucan said in a press release announcing his new role. “And having spent most of my professional career at Sul Ross, I know we have the talent and drive for great accomplishments.” 

About Carlos Morales

Carlos Morales is Marfa Public Radio's News Director, Border and Immigration Reporter, and Morning Edition Host.
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