Gov. Greg Abbott appoints four new regents to UT System governing board

Savana Dunning

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott appointed new regents to the University of Texas System Board of Regents this Thursday, according to the Office of the Governor’s website. Appointments are awaiting approval by the Texas Senate.

The Board of Regents is the System’s governing body, comprised of nine members from across the state. These members are appointed by the governor for six-year terms with one student regent serving a one-year term. They make decisions about academic, health and business affairs for all of the System’s institutions.

The newly-appointed members — Nolan Perez, Christina Melton Crain, Jodie Lee Jiles and Kelcy Warren — are all UT System alumni.

Perez is a previous Navy Medical Corps Officer from Harlingen, Texas, and is the CEO of Gastroenterology Consultants of South Texas. He is part of the Texas Medical Association, the University of Texas Foundation and the UT Austin Development Board, among other health and education organizations. 

Crain, a Dallas attorney, is joining Regent Janiece Longoria as the only current non-student female regents. She is the founder and CEO of Unlocking DOORS, a societal reentry network for former convicts, and also serves as the prisoner representative on UT-Southwestern Medical Center Institutional Review Board.


Jiles is director of business development for Houston real estate company Transwestern. He is a member of the UT-Austin Development Board and the UT Health Development Board, and was previously appointed to the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, which regulates all Texas public universities.

Dallas billionaire Warren is chairman and CEO of Energy Transfer Partners, a natural gas and propane transport company. He serves on the board of directors for UT-Arlington and is a member of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission.

These new appointees would replace regents Sara Martinez Tucker, Jeffery Hildebrand, Paul Foster and Ernest Aliseda. If confirmed by the Senate, Perez’s term would expire in 2021, and the rest of the new regents’ terms would expire in 2025.