Welcome back to campusM. Katherine Banks
January 2, 2023
Texas A&M Community,
Howdy, and welcome back! I look forward to our campus coming back to life as students return later this month. I hope each of you enjoyed the winter break and were able to spend time recharging and reconnecting with friends and family.
As we kick off a new year and new semester, we do so with a sense of hope and optimism for what lies ahead. So much was accomplished last semester, including the launch of key initiatives that will advance Texas A&M as a leader in how higher education can make an impact here in Texas and beyond. From the Good Bull Fund supporting student-led activities to the new School of Performance, Visualization and Fine Arts and the College of Arts and Sciences, we are focused on remaining relevant, creating opportunity and influencing our society in new ways.
I enjoyed the opportunity to communicate our initiatives during the State of the University address last September. Since then, I was pleased to host 23 town halls across the university with faculty and staff, as well as meetings with faculty, staff and student leaders at each college, school and division. These visits gave me an unprecedented opportunity to share my vision for Texas A&M, and more importantly, hear directly from many of you. I have two more scheduled town halls in January, and I am looking forward to continuing with a similar model of engagement and dialogue in the future. One critical issue reinforced through dialogue during these town halls is the need for increased communication and constant interaction with faculty, staff and students.
I am committed to enhancing communication and engagement in partnership with you, and as such, have enacted the following actions to allow for greater accessibility and more frequent communication:
- President's Updates - A monthly communication will be sent to faculty and staff containing updates regarding university initiatives.
- Coffee with University Leadership - Events will be scheduled each month for faculty and staff to visit with the administration in an informal setting with coffee and refreshments.
- University Councils and Committees - The administration remains committed to shared governance, and a strong focus will be placed on assessing our current engagement with university councils and committees to enhance collaboration with these bodies of dedicated faculty, staff and students. Two new committees will be formed in 2023 to improve our continuous evaluation and feedback. Greg Hartman, Chief Operating Officer, will convene a committee of faculty, staff, and students to evaluate our operational improvements and centralization initiatives. N. K. Anand, Vice President for Faculty Affairs, will convene a group of senior faculty to address faculty concerns and seek input on administrative operations and processes. I will meet every two weeks with each of these groups to hear their perspectives and recommendations for continuous improvement.
- University Awards Ceremony - This spring, we will celebrate all university-level awards in one ceremony to collectively recognize the excellence of our faculty, staff, and students in academics, teaching, research and dedicated service. This will be an excellent opportunity for the entire campus community to come together and congratulate our university-level award recipients.
I hope you will participate in these new opportunities to engage and provide feedback and, as always, I invite you to share comments or questions at email@example.com. This is an exciting time to be an Aggie, and I'm looking forward to a wonderful 2023.
Happy New Year!
M. Katherine Banks
President, Texas A&M University