Welcome back, faculty!MICHAEL K. YOUNG
August 27, 2018
Welcome back to Texas A&M for fall semester! It is a pleasure to acknowledge our talented and dedicated faculty members not only here at the flagship campus in College Station, but also at our branch campuses in Galveston and Qatar, the Texas A&M School of Law in Fort Worth, our Health Science Center locations throughout the state, and the newest addition to our family, the Higher Education Center at McAllen, Texas.
As you head back into the classroom this week, I want to thank you in advance for everything you will undoubtedly do to ensure the success of our students and contribute to our growing reputation as a global leader in teaching, research and service.
You are on the front lines in our mission to provide Aggie students with transformational learning experiences. Your drive, creativity and expertise are vital in creating an environment in which students can thrive.
Thank you to the deans and department heads whose job it is to recruit and retain faculty; you are doing an exceptional job. The stellar achievements of our faculty members are becoming greater both in number and prestige. The university is up 50 percent in National Academy members in the last two years. With research expenditures approaching $1 billion annually, Texas A&M is one of the world's best institutions from which to propel your research, discoveries and innovations.
Your excellence in teaching has contributed immeasurably to the fact that Texas A&M has the largest bachelor's-degree-seeking cohort in the nation with a six-year graduation rate of over 80 percent. We also have the highest transfer graduation rate (85.9 percent) among all public universities in Texas; the state average is 57.6 percent.
Perhaps no opportunity is more emblematic of our commitment to supporting faculty research than the President's Excellence Fund, devoting $100 million over 10 years to faculty research. The first initiative, Texas A&M Triads for Transformation (T3 grants), are seed grants to move ideas from vision to proof-of-concept. Teams of three form a "triad" and submit their projects for funding of up to $30,000. Last March we announced the first 100 triads to receive funding. I am looking forward to the symposium later this fall when T3-funded faculty will present their work to date.
I hope you take advantage of programs such as T3 where you can collaborate with other faculty members across disciplines and work toward a common goal.
Again I thank you for all you do and will continue to do to make our beloved university the very best it can be.
My hopes for another successful academic year in Aggieland!