He was the lone finalist for the position to replace Kent Hance.
Duncan has been in the Texas senate since 1996. He is one of five children in his family born and raised in Vernon and graduated from Vernon High School and Texas Tech.
He now chairs the Senate Committee on State Affairs.
A special election will be called to fill the remainder of Duncan's term which expires in 2017.
He will become the second Vernon native to head a major state university.
Ken Starr is president and chancellor of Baylor.
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