JBS executive director steps down

Robert Brescia, the executive director of the John Ben Shepperd Public Leadership Institute, has left his post after five years.

Gen. Tony Cucolo, the University of Texas System associate vice chancellor for leadership development and veterans affairs, will serve as a part-time interim executive director during the transition, a news release stated.

Brescia could not be reached for comment as of press time. An email from Chief of Staff/Executive Director of Communication Tatum Hubbard said Brescia stepped down.

“Ensuring that the JBS Leadership Institute achieves its full potential in our community and across the state is one of my top priorities. To that end, I will be investing more time over the coming months to incorporate the long term strategy for the Institute with our overall vision for UT Permian Basin,” President Sandra Woodley said in a statement.

“I would like to express my gratitude to Dr. Robert Brescia for his work and dedication to the JBS Institute over the past five years. Bob has indicated that he will be stepping down as executive director and has graciously agreed to serve as a consultant over the next several months during the transition,” Woodley added the statement.

Cucolo is an expert on the leadership development of students, as well as faculty, administrative and senior-level campus leaders, the statement indicated.

Prior to joining the UT System in 2015, Cucolo served more than 35 years in the U.S. Army, retiring in September 2014 at the rank of major general. He had numerous senior leadership assignments around the world and at the Pentagon, and his last assignment was president of the US Army War College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania.

“I love West Texas and I am a firm believer in the principles of the JBS Leadership Institute. I want to ensure that those ideals remain alive and well so we never forget what John Ben Shepperd meant to public service. It’s my goal to ensure that his impact is passed on to future generations. I jumped at the chance to help Dr. Woodley and Chancellor McRaven in this endeavor,” Cucolo stated in the news release.

Brescia was paid $131,019 and he was hired at UT Permian Basin in November 2013. Currently, during this phase of the interim, UT Permian Basin is not paying salary costs for Cucolo.

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