May 10, 2011
Chancellor Michael D. McKinney today announced his intention to retire from his position with The Texas A&M University System, effective July 1, 2011. Following is a memorandum announcing his intentions to the A&M System presidents and chief executive officers, and System Offices employees.
Many of you have heard me say over the past five years that serving as the Chancellor of The Texas A&M University System is one of the best jobs in the state of Texas, if not the entire country. From world-class and diverse universities to a health science center and agencies that serve every county in Texas, the A&M System is a treasure in all of higher education.
After serving as your Chancellor since November 2006, the time has come for me to step aside. My plan is to continue as Chancellor through the end of the Legislative Session and retire from my position effective July 1, 2011.
Over the past five years, enrollment at our member institutions has increased from 103,000 to nearly 120,000 students. Research expenditures over this same period have increased an amazing 33.7 percent to more than $772 million, and construction in new buildings has exceeded $1.5 billion. The 25 million taxpayers in the state of Texas certainly have received a significant return on their investment in the A&M System.
Numbers, however, tell only part of the story of the past five years. Through the Academic Scholars Enhancement Program (ASE) we have worked to attract many superstar faculty to the A&M System, including another Nobel Laureate. We have invested in the infrastructure and leadership at each of our universities. Almost every single A&M System university has achieved record enrollment, and the faculty have received historic levels of recognition for their scholarly work. We have opened two new universities in San Antonio and Killeen to serve students and veterans from these historically underserved areas. We have responded to the state’s citizens in times of need through the heroic efforts of TEEX, Texas Task Force 1 and the Texas Forest Service.
I am proud of our collective accomplishments, and I am most proud that we now “act like a system.” We now have 12 presidents and seven agency directors, each of whom is exactly the right person at the right place and at the right time. These leaders have made my job as Chancellor both rewarding and enjoyable.
With the Legislature in session at least through the end of May, there is still a significant amount of work left to be done. Those of you who know me well understand that I do not intend to sit idle over the next month and a half. We will all continue to assist our legislators in their pursuit of maintaining access to quality higher education and a balanced budget until they adjourn sine die. These are challenging economic times for our state, and I firmly believe that an investment in higher education is an investment in Texas’ future. I will also continue to champion the role of teachers, as well as the role of research in shaping young minds and ensuring the economic vitality of our state.
I appreciate the opportunity to serve as Chancellor that has been afforded to me by the Board of Regents. It has truly been an honor and privilege to work alongside all of you in serving our great state and this great university system.
Michael D. McKinney, M.D.
The Texas A&M University System