LUBBOCK, Texas (AP) -

Texas Tech University System officials have voted to formally appoint state Sen. Robert Duncan as the system's new chancellor.

The Thursday vote comes a month after regents announced Duncan was their sold finalist to become the system's fourth chancellor. He takes up his duties July 7.

The 60-year-old outgoing lawmaker is a lifelong West Texan who earned his bachelor's and law degrees from Texas Tech. He has served as a state senator since 1996 after two terms in the House.

He succeeds Kent Hance, a former state senator and congressman has served as chancellor since December 2006. Hance will remain in a newly created position of chancellor emeritus.

Duncan is the third former state senator to become chancellor.