Francisco G. Cigarroa

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Francisco Gonzalez Cigarroa
Francisco Cigarroa Nima2.JPG
Born (1957-12-07) December 7, 1957 (age 58)
Laredo, Webb County
Texas, USA
Residence San Antonio, Texas, USA
Alma mater

J. W. Nixon High School
Yale University

University of Texas Southwestern Medical School


First Hispanic to serve as president of the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio

Francisco Gonzalez Cigarroa (born December 1, 1957) is an American medical doctor and the departing chancellor of the University of Texas System. As a Mexican-American, Cigarroa is also the first Hispanic to serve as president of the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio (UTHSCSA).[1]

Born in the border city of Laredo in south Texas, Cigarroa graduated from J. W. Nixon High School. In 1979, he earned a bachelor's degree from Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut. He received his medical degree from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas in 1983. He was elected to Alpha Omega Alpha, a national honor society for medical students, residents, scientists, and physicians in the United States and Canada.

During his twelve years of postgraduate training, Cigarroa was chief resident at Massachusetts General Hospital ‒ the teaching hospital of Harvard Medical School in Boston, Massachusetts ‒ and completed pediatric surgery and transplant surgery fellowships at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland.[2]

In January 2009, Cigarroa was appointed chancellor of the University of Texas System. He is the first Hispanic to ever lead a major university system in the United States. Before this appointment he had been the first Hispanic president of the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio.

On July 1, 2010, Cigarroa began serving an elected six-year term as an Alumni Fellow to the Yale Corporation, the governing body of Yale University.

In August 2011, Cigarroa presented to the University Board of Regents his Framework for Excellence designed to make the University of Texas System one of the top-ranked US educational systems of higher learning. The framework was unanimously approved by the Board of Regents and has since received national acclaim. In December 2011, Cigarroa was invited to the White House to share his program with US President Barack Obama and US Secretary of Education Arne Duncan.

On February 10, 2014, Cigarroa announced his resignation from the UT System.[3] He said that he had accomplished the goals that he put forth in 2009 and that his departure was unrelated to recent political dissent surrounding the system regents.

Records obtained by the Austin American-Statesman show that Cigarroa as the UT System chancellor, dispatched letters of recommendation from influential people to William C. Powers, the president of UT in Austin, which urge admission of some forty students to the institution. Sometimes Cigarroa placed handwritten notes on the letters about the prominence of the person making the request for admission. Often those given consideration were related to large donors to the university.[4]


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