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Foster talks about new role as UT Board chair

By Darren Hunt, DHuntabc7@yahoo.com
Published On: Aug 23 2013 06:51:15 PM CDT
Updated On: Jan 16 2014 12:20:38 PM CST
EL PASO, Texas -

Now that El Paso billionaire Paul Foster has been appointed the new chairman of the University of Texas Board of Regents, what does that mean for UTEP and El Paso?
ABC-7 spoke at length with the 55-year-old Foster on Friday.

He's a man that already wears many important hats and now has added yet another one in going from vice chairman of the UT Board to Regents, a position he's held since April of 2009, to its chairman.

Foster is already executive chairman of Western Refining in El Paso as well as co-owner of the city's new Triple-A baseball team. His latest endeavor is partnering with local construction company CF Jordan to form Jordan Foster Construction.

When asked about possibly spreading himself too thin, he admitted sometimes he does feel a little stretched.

"I hope I'm not spreading myself too thin, but sometimes I feel like I'm a little too stretched," he said. "I enjoy being busy and I enjoy an active life and it's all about establishing and managing priorities and I just try to do the best I can. But yeah, I am involved in a lot of things, some of which don't require as much in the way of time. Certainly this UT commitment requires a lot of time."

His new top priority will be wading his way through what he called "challenges" on the UT Board of Regents and getting things "headed back in the right direction."

Asked whether him being chairman of the UT Board of Regents means good things for El Paso and UTEP he replied: "Well, I think it can. I think it's important for El Pasoans to be involved in significant efforts at the state level. El Paso has always suffered a little bit from just being a long way from everything else and a little bit out of sight, out of mind. So yeah, I think it is is important for us."

He went on to call UTEP one of the most significant institutions in the UT system, one he will be very proud to do what he can for in order to advance its efforts as an emerging research institution. Foster added that he will likely be spending more time in Austin now than in El Paso.

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