Texas Railroad Commissioner Charles Matthews has been picked as the sole finalist for the chancellorship of the Texas State University System by the system's nine-member Board of Regents.
After a yearlong nationwide search, the regents made the selection Thursday. The earliest the regents can made a final decision on Matthews is Jan. 27.
Matthews would replace Lamar Urbanovsky, who is stepping down after nearly 30 years in the job.
Enrollment in the Austin-based system exceeds 64,000. Its total operating budget for fiscal 2003 was $573 million.
The Texas State University System consists of nine schools: Texas State University-San Marcos, Angelo State University, Sam Houston State University, Lamar University, the Lamar Institute of Technology, Lamar State College-Orange, Lamar State College-Port Arthur, Sul Ross State University and Sul Ross State-Rio Grande College.
Korn/Ferry International Inc. has been conducting the search for a new chancellor.
Matthews was elected to the Austin-based Railroad Commission in 1994. He won re-election in 2002.
Before taking office in 1995, Matthews was an entrepreneur and civic leader in Garland, including stints as mayor of that community and in banking and energy. He is a former member of the Texas Turnpike Authority.
Matthews earned his bachelor's degree from the University of Texas at Dallas and a master's degree in public administration from Southwest Texas State University (now Texas State in San Marcos). He is nearing completion of his doctoral studies at the University of Texas in higher education administration.