Aerial view of TAMU

Texas A&M at Qatar Transition Update

General (Ret.) Mark A. Welsh III

June 20, 2024

Members of the Aggie Family,

As you know, earlier this year, The Texas A&M University System Board of Regents voted to wind down our campus in Qatar over the next four years. Since that time, a transition team of individuals from both Qatar and the main campus has been working closely with Qatar Foundation (QF) on plans to close our campus in the Middle East. Their focus has been ensuring our current students continue receiving the high-quality Aggie engineering experience of those who came before them. At the same time, they have worked to minimize the impact on our faculty and staff, who have created an incredible Aggie legacy in Qatar.

I’m reaching out today to provide an update on those plans and recognize our colleagues and students in Qatar who are navigating the closure of their campus with grace and patience. I’m grateful to each of them and to the transition team for their work in navigating the intricacies of winding down what will be over 25 years of academic excellence by the time the doors close.

In late March, QF announced that they are launching a new undergraduate engineering program at their own Hamad Bin Khalifa University (HBKU), which has offered graduate and limited undergraduate degree programs since 2010. The freshman class they welcome this fall will include applicants to Texas A&M University at Qatar who could not be admitted to our university due to the planned closure. They will co-locate their undergraduate programs at the Engineering Building where we currently operate inside QF’s Education City campus. Our two universities will operate alongside each other during this transition, and as Texas A&M at Qatar winds down its operations, HBKU will grow its program. This approach enables a robust student life for students from both schools, and through a cooperative agreement with QF during the transition, some of our faculty and staff will be able to teach or support both universities.

This transition has been particularly difficult for our faculty and staff as they grapple with the fact that, at some point, they will no longer have a position with Texas A&M at Qatar. Understanding this, the transition team worked to develop a plan that provides faculty and staff with as much advance notice as possible for when their terms of service will end. We were able to provide everyone with at least 90 days’ notice and in most cases, six months or more. While the projected graduation of students over the next four years is guiding this transition plan, there are many variables at play, which limit our ability to plan beyond 2026. Therefore, we will be reevaluating Texas A&M at Qatar's staffing plans every six months. We do not plan to shorten anyone’s current term of service, but we do intend to use these regular evaluations to inform updated projections for needs after 2026.

As part of the transition process, earlier this spring we opened a portal for current employees in Qatar to express interest in positions in College Station so we can help provide them with priority consideration for positions at the main campus. Additionally, I’m grateful that many of our faculty and staff who want to stay in Qatar have found opportunities supporting HBKU’s new undergraduate program. Through a cooperative agreement we’re establishing with HBKU, faculty who transition to HBKU but are still needed to support the teach-out at Texas A&M at Qatar will be offered an adjunct or visiting appointment to do so. This will enable our faculty to have stability as we move forward and will allow our students continued access to more of our talented faculty.

Despite our best efforts to minimize the impact of this transition, the campus closure has real repercussions for our faculty and staff there. It certainly does not diminish their remarkable work and contributions. It also will not change the incredible impact their teaching and research have had on the lives of the 1,500-plus Aggies who have graduated from the Qatar campus.

Between now and the day we finally shutter Texas A&M at Qatar, our focus will remain on providing our current students the excellent academic experience they expect and deserve. As Aggies, we’re hardwired to build things, so planning the closure of something so many of you were involved in building isn’t easy, but we are moving forward with respect for our students, faculty and staff, and the legacy we have created with Qatar Foundation. We will continue to look for ways to ease the transition for those affected and will never lose sight of the fact that every action we take is going to be difficult for all those proud Aggies in Qatar.

Again, I want to thank the entire Qatar campus faculty, staff and student body for their fortitude and perseverance throughout this process. We will continue to keep the campus community updated as planning evolves. As always, please feel free to reach out to me at

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