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News Release

Advisory Search Committee Selects Finalists for Sul Ross State University Presidency (5/1/20)

(AUSTIN) -- An advisory search committee appointed to vet candidates for the presidency of Sul Ross State University, chaired by TSUS Regent Dionicio (Don) Flores, has recommended three finalists to interview with Chancellor Brian McCall. The finalists, chosen from a field of nearly 40 applicants during a national search, are (in alphabetical order):

Pete P. Gallego, J.D.
Mr. Gallego is a practicing attorney from Alpine, Texas. He previously served as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives and the Texas House of Representatives, representing parts of West Texas. He earned a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Sul Ross State University and a juris doctorate from The University of Texas at Austin.

Karla K. Leeper, Ph.D.
Dr. Leeper is executive vice president for operations at Augusta University/Augusta University Health System in Augusta, Georgia. She earned a bachelor’s degree in Speech Communication and Political Science from the University of Iowa, a master’s degree in Communication Studies from the University of Kansas, an M.B.A. from Augusta University, and a Ph.D. in Communication Studies from the University of Kansas.

William M. Tsutsui, Ph.D.
Dr. Tsutsui most recently served as president of Hendrix College in Conway, Arkansas. He earned a bachelor’s degree in East Asian Studies from Harvard University, a master of letters in Modern Japanese History from Oxford University, and a Ph.D. in History from Princeton University.

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The three finalists will participate in virtual community forums next week where members of the Sul Ross community will have the opportunity to interact with each candidate. Due to COVID-19-related social distancing efforts, virtual forums will be held in lieu of planned campus visits. More information about the virtual forums will be available online at

Chancellor Brian McCall will interview all three candidates and select a sole finalist to be considered by the Board of Regents later this month. The successful candidate is expected to assume the presidency before the start of the Fall 2020 semester.

Wheless Search and Consulting, an executive search firm, assisted TSUS in the SRSU presidential search process.

Sul Ross State University is a member of the Texas State University System, which consists of seven institutions serving more than 86,000 students from the Big Bend Region of West Texas to the Louisiana border.