Thank you, Provost FierkeMICHAEL K. YOUNG
November 30, 2020
Dear faculty, staff and students,
As you may have seen, Brandeis University announced today that Provost Carol A. Fierke will join its university as Provost and Executive Vice President, where she also received her Ph.D. in biochemistry. She will remain at Texas A&M through Dec. 31.
While Provost Fierke, in her usual manner, would prefer no fanfare, I cannot let the moment pass without thanking her profusely for her tremendous leadership and success since her arrival three years ago, culminating in this year’s outstanding response to COVID-19 that helped our university continue to forge ahead with in-person classes as well as remote learning and extensive safety protocols.
Some additional achievements under her leadership include:
- Launched the Student Success Initiative to increase student retention and graduation rates at Texas A&M. Since her arrival, the retention rate for first-time, first-year students has risen by 2.7 percent to 94.4 percent, and the four-year graduation rate has risen by 5.6 percent to 60.6 percent;
- Served the needs of the growing population in the state, with enrollment of more than 71,000 students in the fall of 2020, while retaining high standards of academic excellence;
- Hired more than 350 new tenure and tenure-track faculty during her tenure to help accommodate growth in student population;
- Fostered a commitment to diversity and inclusion, as evidenced in more than 400 applicants this fall for the Accountability, Climate, Equity, and Scholarship (ACES) faculty pipeline program. Texas A&M has received the Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award and was recognized twice by INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine as a “Diversity Champion;” and
- Established, in concert with findings from a cross-university task force, a Graduate and Professional School to attract, support and graduate world-class students across a host of disciplines, departments, and colleges.
I thank Provost Fierke for her continual display of the Aggie core values of respect, excellence, leadership, loyalty, integrity and selfless service. An interim provost will soon be announced.
Michael K. Young