Aerial view of TAMU

President’s Brief - May 2024

General (Ret.) Mark A. Welsh III

May 20, 2024

Members of the Aggie Family,

Congratulations, we officially survived the spring semester! Earlier this month, I had the incredible honor of sending another great class of Aggies out into the world. This May, 12,400 Aggie grads are crossing the stage at 18 commencement ceremonies across the state. As I watch each class graduate, I am always struck by the excitement surrounding the end of one chapter of their lives and the beginning of another.

I know these ceremonies are just as important to our faculty and staff as they are to our graduates. For the last four years (or so), you have served as teachers, coaches, mentors, role models and friends. You have prepared our students to embark on the next stage of their lives by showing them that the world demands a standard of performance, and rewards men and women who are willing to meet it. And thanks to your dedication, the Class of 2024 is well prepared to go out and make their mark on the world. Thanks for helping them prepare to chase their dreams!

While these former students leave us for their next adventures, our faculty and staff continue to teach and support the next group of graduates. Our work is never done; luckily, it’s work that we cherish. Preparing Aggies to reach their full potential is our most important, and rewarding, job, and I remain in awe of how well you accomplish the task. I’m lucky to work with such amazingly talented professionals!

With summer almost upon us, I’d like to update you on a few items of interest:

Recent Board of Regents Action:

  • At their May meeting, The Texas A&M University System Board of Regents approved the capital plan for the next five years and a $3.05 billion operating budget for Texas A&M’s fiscal year 2025, which included $2.49 billion for Texas A&M University, $88.5 million for the Galveston campus and $472.35 million for the Health Science Center. Thanks to the approved expenditure budget, I’m happy to share that we will be able to provide a performance-based merit pool of 4%. Merit-based increases for faculty and staff will be reflected in salaries beginning Sept. 1, 2024. You are what makes Texas A&M great, and I’m pleased the merit pool will enable us to appropriately recognize your performance in a more tangible way.
  • Our Regents also approved a Health Science Center proposal to purchase the iBio building, a premier 139,000-square-foot facility located on Health Science Center Parkway in Bryan. This building, one of the largest facilities for plant-produced biologics in the world, will support research growth across the health sciences, including preclinical testing with dedicated vivarium space, staging for clinical studies and investigational new drugs and first-in-human dosage development.
  • Finally, Regents approved a new leadership role for Dr. Roderic Pettigrew, one of our university’s most renowned scholars. Dr. Pettigrew will become the Texas A&M System’s Vice Chancellor for Strategic Health Initiatives, effective June 1. His new role will focus on growing the System’s health science research portfolio and attracting top scholars and national academies members like himself. Dr. Pettigrew will continue to also serve as Executive Dean of the School of Engineering Medicine (EnMed) until Sept. 1, 2024, and will remain on the EnMed faculty after that date.

Quick-Look Implementation:

  • Many of the actions within the main campus, Galveston and McAllen quick-look assessment reports have been completed or are nearing completion thanks to the hard work of our leads over the past few months. I encourage you to review the weblinks above for the latest updates on the remaining projects.

Research Identity:

  • In April, I shared an update on work already underway to define Texas A&M’s research identity and what we, as an established research powerhouse, want to be known for. Earlier today, our university community was invited by email to review a draft report and then provide feedback via an online form. Responses will be accepted until 5 p.m. on Thursday, May 23.

Leadership Updates:

President’s Cabinet –

  • Chief Operating Officer: Our Chief Operating Officer (COO) search committee continues to make excellent progress. The candidate pool of 17 was further narrowed to five, and second round interviews were conducted with those five applicants. Based on these interviews, three candidates are expected to visit campus in early June. I’m hopeful that we will have a COO in place before the start of the fall semester.
  • Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs: On-campus interviews have wrapped up, and we expect to have recommendations from the search committee, chaired by Drs. Jack Baldauf and Blanca Lupiani, later this month.

Dean Searches –

Thank you all for another great semester. I’m proud of all we accomplished and all that’s to come. Speaking of accomplishments, congratulations to Coach Mark Weaver and the Aggie Women’s Tennis team, who brought home the program’s first national championship after defeating the Georgia Bulldogs 4-1 late Sunday night in the finals! The Aggies were the 13th seed in the tournament, but came out on top as national champs. Job well done; you make Aggieland proud!

I hope everyone finds time over the next couple of months for a well-deserved break with family and friends. For those of you still around campus this summer, I hope to see you out and about in the community or at one of the many great events taking place here in Aggieland! I enjoyed seeing many of you at the Troubadour Festival this weekend. And don’t forget about the Mexico vs. Brazil game and George Strait concert at Kyle Field next month.

If you’re headed elsewhere for the summer, enjoy your time away … rest up and come back ready to tackle the fall semester!

Please read on for some additional good news happening across the university. And don’t forget, I want to hear from you. Email with your thoughts, questions and ideas, or follow me on Facebook, Instagram or LinkedIn for more real-time updates.

Thanks and Gig 'em!

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

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