Aerial view of TAMU

All-Faculty and Staff Virtual Meeting Recap

General (Ret.) Mark A. Welsh III
Interim President

August 18, 2023

Members of the Aggie Family,

Thank you to those who joined live for this week’s all-faculty and staff meeting. If you weren’t able to tune in, I hope you’ll take time to watch the recording at your convenience.

Next week we will be welcoming more than 75,000 students back to Texas A&M, and I’m looking forward to the energy they will bring with them. The events that occurred this summer were tumultuous, but we won’t let them define us. I know there are bright times ahead because I believe in this university, and I believe in you.

I want to reiterate a few important points from the meeting and from recent discussions I’ve had with faculty and staff across campus:

  • Good communication at every level of the organization improves transparency and decision-making. I am taking a hard look at what impediments may exist to the flow of information across the university. We will make necessary adjustments to ensure that information flows effectively, which improves our ability to make informed decisions.
  • Academic freedom is essential to the success of our university, and it’s protected by the Constitution. I have asked the Office of Faculty Affairs to establish a task force to ensure we have a clear definition of academic freedom and to ensure our policies and procedures related to faculty protections are clear and directive when academic freedom is called into question. The task force plans to provide regular status updates on this webpage, and I’ll share next steps when the task force completes its work.
  • The Path Forward advanced a robust set of initiatives, and we need to analyze the effects. To that end, we are assessing the major Path Forward changes that have been implemented over the past year. I have appointed Joe Pettibon as vice president of planning, assessment and strategy, and in this role, he will lead a small group to conduct this assessment. The goal is to gather feedback on successes and opportunities for adjustment, as warranted, with initial feedback submitted to me by Aug. 25.

These efforts are aimed at informing our approach moving forward. As we do so, it’s essential that we embrace the Spirit of Aggieland – rededicating ourselves to the things that make Texas A&M special. I’ve always believed that respectful communications serve as the foundation of our core values, and as we move forward that same respect must be the platform on which we stand. Every member of the Aggie family is critically important to our success, and they deserve to be treated that way.

I’m excited about our future. It certainly won’t be free of challenges, but Aggies never shy away from a challenge. Together, let’s welcome our newest class and show them what it means to be an Aggie!

Gig ’em!

General (Ret.) Mark A. Welsh III, Interim President