Sul Ross State University President Pete Gallego announced on Friday he will be stepping down next year, a little more than a year after the former Texas congressman took his alma mater’s top job.

In a statement, Gallego, 59, said he would step down from the 1,700-student West Texas university in 2022 at the end of the academic year.

“After much reflection and discussion with family and friends, I have decided to step away from my responsibilities as president at the end of the academic year,” said Gallego. “This is not an easy decision, but it is the right decision for me and for Sul Ross, the university I dearly love.”

Gallego, an Alpine native, was appointed president of Sul Ross in June 2020. From 2013 to 2015, Gallego was congressman for the 23rd Congressional District after having lost reelection to Will Hurd. Before that, Gallego served as a representative in the Texas Legislature for more than 20 years.

“President Gallego’s commitment to Sul Ross long preceded his tenure as president and I know he will continue to serve the university long after he leaves the president’s office,” Texas State University System Chancellor Brian McCall said in a statement. “I’m particularly grateful for the way Pete has connected and cared for Sul Ross students many of whom are the first in their families to attend college.”

Sul Ross State University, located in Alpine, is a member of the Texas State University System.

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This article originally appeared in The Texas Tribune, a nonprofit, nonpartisan media organization that informs Texans — and engages with them — about public policy, politics, government and statewide issues.

Texas Tribune reporter Allyson Waller

Allyson Waller, The Texas Tribune

Allyson Waller is a general assignment reporter at The Texas Tribune. Allyson is a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin, where she majored in journalism. When not closely following politics and...