Aerial view of TAMU

McAllen Quick-Look Assessment Implementation

President Welsh assigned leads and deadlines for decisions finalized in the McAllen Quick-Look Assessment Report published on March 28. Below are the decisions, associated team leads, deadlines and status updates related to each item.

Conduct a Presidential Focus Session to articulate a vision for the Higher Education Center at McAllen (HECM) and follow with clear tasking to the McAllen Tiger Team — HECM Associate Vice President (AVP) and Chief Operating Officer (COO), Executive Vice President (EVP) and Provost of Texas A&M, Deans’ representatives, Texas A&M Interim COO, Texas A&M AVP for Facilities and Energy Services, Texas A&M Health Interim COO and Vice President (VP), Texas A&M Chief Financial Officer (CFO), VP for Planning, Assessment and Strategy and VP for Student Affairs.

  • Lead: Susan Ballabina
  • Deadline: Jun. 1, 2024
  • Status:
    • June 21: Complete. The HECM leadership and task forces have all been formed and continue to make progress with next steps of the QLA. The HECM AVP and COO will keep the OOP and Chief of Staff apprised of progress via the QLA Status Updates going forward.
    • May 10: An initial strategy focus session was held on April 30 to define next steps and action items going forward for the Higher Education Center at McAllen vision and Tiger Team. The VP for Planning, Assessment and Strategy will follow up with the president to determine what updates need to be made to the McAllen Quick-Look Assessment Report, decisions, and leads. The next focus session will be scheduled in the coming weeks.
    • April 12: Focus sessions have been scheduled.

The Higher Education Center at McAllen (HECM) Associate Vice President (AVP) and Chief Operating Officer (COO) will lead a task force with Texas A&M Chief Financial Officer (CFO), Human Resources and Organizational Effectiveness (HROE), Marketing and Communications (MarComm) and Technology Services representatives to establish a timeline and milestones for transitioning HECM staff to report locally in a unified structure under the direction of the HECM AVP and COO. This task force will also examine the HECM leadership structure to ensure appropriate leads over major areas (e.g., Student Affairs, MarComm) report directly to the HECM AVP and COO.

  • Lead: Manny Vela
  • Deadline: Jul. 1, 2024
  • Status:
    • June 21: The task force has developed recommendations that are under review by the president.
    • May 10: The task force has been formed and efforts are underway to develop recommendations, a timeline and milestones for transitioning HECM staff to report locally.
    • April 12: On April 8, the HECM AVP and COO circulated an email to leadership at the main campus requesting their participation as members of the task force. Efforts are underway to coordinate the initial meeting. The HECM AVP and COO has conducted initial conversations with the HROE and Technology Services leads in anticipation of the larger task force conversation. Effective April 1, the HECM MarComm lead will report directly to the HECM AVP and COO.

The Executive Vice President (EVP) and Provost will form a committee of the faculty in McAllen, and with college leadership in College Station, to address the reporting structure for faculty that includes a matrix approach for issues that need to be handled locally, such as course offerings and scheduling. This committee will develop a recommendation that clearly identifies the lead and required authorities for academic and academic support issues in McAllen. The Higher Education Center at McAllen (HECM) Chief Academic Officer (CAO) should report directly to the EVP and Provost and have a dotted line responsibility to the HECM Associate Vice President (AVP) and Chief Operating Officer (COO). We should consider an academic program lead for each college represented at the HECM.

  • Lead: Alan Sams
  • Deadline: Jul. 1, 2024
  • Status:
    • June 21: The committee submitted a proposal for a new administrative structure for Arts and Sciences faculty at HECM. This proposal is under consideration by the Provost.
    • May 10: The committee has been formed and the first meeting was held in early May. Leadership has also visited with College of Arts and Sciences department heads who have faculty in McAllen to collect some initial information to anticipate needs and outcomes. It should be noted that because faculty input is so critical for this aspect of the Quick-Look Assessment, the final outcome will likely be delayed through the summer.
    • April 12: The discussions to identify leadership for this group have begun. It should be noted that because faculty input is so critical for this aspect of the Quick-Look Assessment, the final outcome will likely be delayed through the summer.

The Higher Education Center at McAllen (HECM) Associate Vice President (AVP) and Chief Operating Officer (COO) will form and lead a task force with the Texas A&M Interim COO, Texas A&M Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and Executive Vice President (EVP) and Provost representatives to develop the HECM Master Plan for presidential and System review/approval.

  • Lead: Manny Vela
  • Deadline: Jan. 1, 2025
  • Status:
    • June 21: A Request for Qualifications related to HECM’s Comprehensive Master Plan has been posted and proposals have been received and reviewed. Interviews were scheduled for June 25 with final selection and projected engagement in July. The scope of the project will include a comprehensive plan with an emphasis on facility planning/academic growth and a projected completion date of Dec. 6, 2024.
    • May 10: On April 16, the task force members — EVP and Provost, Interim COO, Interim Associate Provost for Faculty Success, Chief of Staff and AVP for Texas A&M Health, Texas A&M Health Facilities Manager and the HECM AVP and COO — met to discuss next steps, and consensus was reached in moving forward with the RFQ process related to the creation of a comprehensive master plan, to include future academic growth and facility planning. The task force also requested that current HECM students be surveyed to determine their preferences regarding study space, congregation/lounge space, dining services and dorm facilities. The survey to the students was sent out on April 30, and the task force will reconvene within the first two weeks of May.
    • April 12: On April 8, the HECM AVP and COO circulated an email to academic, administrative and operational leadership at Texas A&M’s main campus requesting their participation as members of the task force. Efforts are underway to coordinate the initial meeting. Discussions continue with Facilities and Energy Services related to the engagement of a firm to assist in the development of the Master Plan.

Comprehensive and Campus Master Plans, as well as related policies and processes, must reflect that Higher Education Center at McAllen(HECM) facilities management is under the HECM Associate Vice President (AVP) and Chief Operating Officer (COO). The HECM AVP and COO, Texas A&M Interim COO, Texas A&M Health Interim COO and Vice President (VP), and Executive Vice President (EVP) and Provost will coordinate on the process to identify these requirements.

  • Lead: Manny Vela
  • Deadline: Jan. 1, 2025
  • Status:
    • June 21: Please refer to updates related to Organizational Structure and Facilities Update.
    • April 12: On April 8, the HECM AVP and COO circulated an email to academic, operational and administrative leadership at Texas A&M and Texas A&M Health requesting their participation as members of the task force. Efforts are underway to coordinate the initial meeting.

The Higher Education Center at McAllen (HECM) Associate Vice President (AVP) and Chief Operating Officer (COO) and HECM Assistant Provost will coordinate to identify the responsible office/individual to oversee course and classroom scheduling.

  • Lead: Manny Vela
  • Deadline: May 1, 2024
  • Status:
    • June 21: Complete. The HECM Assistant Provost, who will oversee the course and classrom scheduling, has been hired with an anticipated start date of Aug. 1. An announcement is forthcoming.
    • May 10: Interviews have been completed and the goal is to have the HECM Assisant Provost position filled by the end of May.
    • April 12: The individual designated to oversee the course and classroom scheduling will be the HECM Assistant Provost. Interviews for the position are underway.

The Vice Provost of Faculty Affairs will form a task force with deans and the Higher Education Center at McAllen (HECM) Assistant Provost to develop the recommended faculty mix at the HECM and options for graduate programs and resulting teaching assistants and/or graduate assistants.

  • Lead: N.K. Anand
  • Deadline: Aug. 1, 2024
  • Status:
    • June 21: The committee has been formed and the first meeting was hosted May 9. Leadership has also visited with department heads in the College of Arts and Sciences who have faculty in McAllen to collect initial information to anticipate needs and outcomes. While there will be faculty representation on this group, there will also be a staff presence, allowing work to continue over the summer.
    • May 10: The task force has been created and one meeting has been held. Further discussions are underway to develop recommendations related to student career and graduate school planning. The next task force meeting is scheduled for May 21.

The Executive Vice President (EVP) and Provost will establish a task force to review core curriculum delivery options for the Higher Education Center at McAllen (HECM) students, to include face-to-face and remote delivery, as well as faculty and space requirements to execute the plan.

  • Lead: Alan Sams
  • Deadline: Oct. 15, 2024
  • Status:
    • May 10: The committee has been formed and the first meeting was held in early May. Leadership has also visited with College of Arts and Sciences department heads who have faculty in McAllen to collect some initial information to anticipate needs and outcomes. While there will be faculty representation on this group, there will also be a staff presence, allowing work to continue over the summer.
    • April 12: The task force leadership has been identified and is being established. While there will be faculty representation on this group, there will also be a staff presence, allowing work to continue over the summer.

The Vice Provost of Faculty Affairs will lead a task force with college and the Higher Education Center at McAllen (HECM) representation to develop recommended faculty workload and professional advancement options/recommendations for HECM faculty.

  • Lead: N.K. Anand
  • Deadline: Aug. 1, 2024
  • Status:
    • May 10: The task force has been created and one meeting has been held with an initial sentiment that faculty workload issues are best handled by colleges and schools who have programs at HECM. The next task force meeting is scheduled for May 21.

The Space Allocation Plan should address the needs for student spaces being a priority in the third building. The recommendations and decisions from that planning effort must be included in Comprehensive and Campus Master Plans.

  • Lead: Manny Vela
  • Deadline: Aug. 1, 2024
  • Status:
    • June 21: Please see updates referenced in Facilities Planning 1 and 4.
    • April 12: The task force listed under Facilities Planning No. 1 and 4 will address this recommendation.

The Higher Education Center at McAllen (HECM) Associate Vice President (AVP) and Chief Operating Officer (COO) will submit proposed staff additions for community engagement to the Strategic Budget Council for consideration.

  • Lead: Manny Vela
  • Deadline: May 1, 2024
  • Status:
    • June 21: The recommendation to create the position of Assistant Director of Recruiting Success is under review by the Strategic Budget Council.
    • May 7: Leadership held discussions regarding proposed staff additions to support career services. The recommendation is to create an Assistant Director of Employment Services position with the responsibility for community and industry outreach. This position will require approval by the Strategic Budget Council prior to its posting. The goal is to receive budget approval and complete the hiring process for the new position to be filled prior to the fall 2024 semester.
    • April 12: On April 11, the HECM AVP and COO convened a meeting with the HECM Executive Director, HECM Executive Assistant, Human Resources and Organizational Effectiveness lead and Student Affairs lead to discuss the need for additional staff to assist in community engagement. The team will meet next Thursday to draw a consensus and make a recommendation.

The Higher Education Center at McAllen (HECM) Associate Vice President (AVP) and Chief Operating Officer (COO) will work with the Executive Vice President (EVP) and Provost to develop recommendations for student career and graduate school planning support at the HECM. The recommendations will be submitted to the Strategic Budget Council for consideration.

  • Lead: Manny Vela
  • Deadline: May 1, 2024
  • Status:
    • June 21: Discussions regarding recommendations for student career and graduate school planning are ongoing.
    • May 10: Upon the successful hiring of HECM's new AP, further discussions and appropriate strategy will be made with the Office of the Provost to develop recommendations for student career and graduate school planning support.
    • April 12: On April 11, the HECM AVP and COO met with the Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs regarding a HECM faculty representative to participate as a member of the team.

The Higher Education Center at McAllen (HECM) Associate Vice President (AVP) and Chief Operating Officer (COO) will coordinate with the Vice President for Student Affairs and HECM Assistant Provost to develop a phased proposal to expand HECM Student Affairs support to include student affairs staff, global engagement, disability services, mentoring/tutoring program support, etc. The proposal will be submitted to the Strategic Budget Council.

  • Lead: Manny Vela
  • Deadline: May 1, 2024
  • Status:
    • June 21: Recommendations are under review by the Strategic Budget Council.
    • May 10: The task force was formed and discussions are underway to finalize the proposal for consideration by the Strategic Budget Council.
    • April 12: On April 8, the HECM AVP and COO circulated an email to main campus and HECM representatives requesting their participation as members of the task force. Leadership for the Division of Student Affairs has requested additional members of the team be added, and scheduling of the initial meeting is underway.

The Texas A&M Vice President (VP) and Chief Marketing and Communications Officer (CMO), in coordination with the Higher Education Center at McAllen (HECM) Associate Vice President (AVP) and Chief Operating Officer (COO), will lead development of a comprehensive marketing and recruiting plan for HECM, which includes specific recommendations on staffing support. The staffing request will be submitted through the Texas A&M Chief Financial Officer (CFO) to the President for consideration.

  • Lead: Ethan Braden
  • Deadline: Jun. 1, 2024
  • Status:
    • June 21: The central marketing and communications team is working on an extensive brand development project and comprehensive marketing campaign for Texas A&M University, launching in early 2025. Because this project is actively in development, combined with the recent restructuring within the division, this assignment remains on hold until the universitywide campaign is launched to ensure consistent and specialized messaging for the HECM is established along with other factors such as key metrics that ladder up to the overall goals established as part of the comprehensive university campaign.

The Higher Education Center at McAllen (HECM) Associate Vice President (AVP) and Chief Operating Officer (COO) will lead the development of a unique value proposition for prospective students in collaboration with Marketing and Communications and Texas A&M Office of Admissions. The final product will be shared with the entire HECM team, as well as Texas A&M leadership, and must be included in the comprehensive marketing and recruitment plan for the HECM.

  • Lead: Manny Vela
  • Deadline: May 1, 2024
  • Status:
    • May 10: Completed. Representatives from admissions, marketing and communications and the HECM AVP and COO met and recommend the following statement as a unique value proposition: “The Texas A&M University Higher Education Center at McAllen provides a world-class educational experience founded on Texas A&M’s unique core values and traditions in a supportive college community that embraces the rich culture and spirit of South Texas.” From this, a comprehensive marketing and recruitment plan will be developed to promote the HECM.
    • April 12: On April 10, the HECM AVP and COO met with the admissions team at the main campus to initiate discussions regarding this recommendation. The group will reconvene April 18 to review the initial draft.

The Texas A&M Chief Financial Officer (CFO) will coordinate with the Texas A&M Associate Vice President (AVP) for Scholarships and Financial Aid to provide an analysis and recommendations regarding increasing the Aggie Assurance Program for the Higher Education Center at McAllen (HECM) up to at least $125K. Options and recommendations will be submitted to the Strategic Budget Council.

  • Lead: John Crawford
  • Deadline: May 1, 2024
  • Status:
    • June 21: Complete. The Executive Vice President and Provost, Vice Provost for Academic Affairs, Associate VP for Scholarships and Financial Aid, VP and Chief Financial Officer, and Deputy Chief Financial Officer have discussed options and recommendations. All agreed to move forward with increasing the Aggie Assurance Program for the HECM to $125,000. Any increase in costs will be funded from existing funds within the Office of Student Financial Aid and the Office of the Provost.
    • May 10: Based on the analysis completed in April, the Executive Vice President and Provost, Vice Provost for Academic Affairs, Associate VP for Scholarships and Financial Aid, VP and Chief Financial Officer, and Deputy Chief Financial Officer have discussed options and recommendations. The options and recommendations are being drafted for submission to the Strategic Budget Council for consideration.
    • April 12: An analysis has been completed resulting in an estimated increase in annual cost of $175,000 based on current enrollment numbers. Complicating how this increase might be funded is the uncertainty in how awarding of aid shifts with the FAFSA changes for the 2024-2025. Further discussions regarding options and recommendations are ongoing.

The Texas A&M Chief Financial Officer (CFO) will review any issues in McAllen contracting processes and determine if recent changes in processes in College Station have resolved those concerns. Those results will be reported to the Higher Education Center at McAllen (HECM) Associate Vice President (AVP) and Chief Operating Officer (COO) and President.

  • Lead: John Crawford
  • Deadline: May 1, 2024
  • Status:
    • June 21: Complete. A memo summarizing findings following the collaborative meeting with the Division of Finance and HECM has been shared with the president.
    • May 10: On April 18, the AVP and University Contracts Officer, HECM AVP and COO and team met via Zoom to discuss HECM contracting processes. Discussion revolved around overall contracting and procurement processes and intentional use of AggieBuy to enter and track contracts and purchase orders through the process. Links to Quick Reference Guides showing various processes for using AggieBuy were provided and training has been offered to HECM business administrators with dates TBD after conclusion of the spring 2024 semester. In addition, this meeting established a direct connection between the two offices in which they could continue to reach out to each other as issues arise. A memo to the HECM AVP and COO and President is being drafted to summarize the findings.
    • April 12: The Division of Finance Business Services unit has reviewed McAllen contract history and has initiated discussions with the COO to determine and address any concerns.

Explore naming options for the Higher Education Center at McAllen to better describe and market the university academic and administrative functions in McAllen, particularly as it relates to required standards that must be met for any naming convention according to both the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) and the Southern Association of Colleges and School Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

  • Lead: Alan Sams

In conjunction with the Chief Operating Officer in McAllen, update market research and review with academic colleges on the appropriate mix of degree program offerings in McAllen. This analysis should include job demands in the Rio Grande Valley, a focus of 75 percent of students starting in McAllen finishing their degree in McAllen and the appropriate use of distance education within academic offerings in McAllen. offerings in McAllen.

  • Lead: Alan Sams

Explore and recommend retention and student success initiatives that can be implemented at McAllen to ensure the majority of students succeed and are retained in McAllen through completion, including exploration of opportunity-based models and apprenticeship-based programming.

  • Lead: Alan Sams

Review current financial aid options for McAllen students. In addition to the potential expansion of Aggie Assurance to $125K income levels, consider unique cost of attendance budgets specific to the region as well as elimination of additional distance education course fees.

  • Lead: Alan Sams
  • Status:
    • June 21: Complete. The university has approved the expansion of Aggie Assurance at HECM to $125,000 income levels as of April 29, 2024. Other items in this task will be considered and updated in the future.

Establish a long-range business plan with revenue and expense estimates based on enrollments in each academic program offered in McAllen along with appropriate milestones for achieving specific enrollment targets and benchmarks. The business plan needs to include faculty and staff needs by program, including core curriculum support, and anticipated plans for facilities and infrastructure with anticipated return on investments.

  • Lead: John Crawford

In conjunction with the Chief Operating Officer in McAllen, explore a partnership with FEMA that might yield student recreational space in a shared-use facility as a low-cost solution for the campus.  

  • Lead: John Crawford