COLLEGE STATION, Texas – The Texas A&M University System Board of Regents on Tuesday named Dr. Ray M. Keck the sole finalist for the position of President of Texas A&M University-Commerce and Dr. Pablo Arenaz as the sole finalist for the position of President of Texas A&M International University. They also approved the appointment of Dr. Kelly Quintanilla as Interim President of Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, effective January 1, 2017.
“This is a significant day for each of these excellent institutions,” said Cliff Thomas, Chairman of the Board of Regents. “These outstanding leaders are highly qualified and each is well suited to his or her respective institution. Dr. Keck, Dr. Arenaz, and Dr. Quintanilla give me great confidence in the future of the A&M System.”
“As we prepare for the upcoming legislative session, it is vital that each of our institutions has solid, steady leadership,” said Texas A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp. “These individuals have exactly what it takes to successfully guide our institutions through the legislative process.”
Keck has served as Interim President of Texas A&M-Commerce since June 1, 2016. Prior to that appointment, Keck has served for about 15 years as the fifth president of Texas A&M International University in Laredo. Prior to serving as TAMIU’s president, Keck served as the university’s provost and vice president for academic affairs. He holds his Ph.D. in Romance Languages and Literatures from Princeton University, where he also earned his Bachelor of Arts degree.
Arenaz assumed the role of Interim President at TAMIU following Keck’s departure in June. He had previously served as TAMIU’s provost and vice president for academic affairs. Before joining TAMIU in 2008, Arenaz was vice provost for graduate studies and dean of the graduate school at The University of Texas at El Paso. Originally from Nevada, he holds a Ph.D. in Genetics and Cell Biology from Washington State University, as well as an M.S. in Biology and a B.S. in Education from the University of Nevada-Reno.
Under state law, university governing boards must name finalists for president at least 21 days before making an official appointment. The Board of Regents will meet again to consider the final appointments for Keck and Arenaz.
In September, Dr. Flavius Killebrew, the current president at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, announced his plan to retire at the end of 2016. Quintanilla, the university’s current provost and vice president for academic affairs, will become the interim president following his departure.
Quintanilla previously served as the chair of the Department of Communication and Theatre, and she became the dean of the College of Liberal Arts in 2009. She was also the director of the School of Arts, Media and Communication. She received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Pittsburgh and her master’s degree and Ph.D. in communication from Pennsylvania State University.
About The Texas A&M University System
The Texas A&M University System is one of the largest systems of higher education in the nation, with a budget of $4.2 billion. Through a statewide network of 11 universities and seven state agencies, the Texas A&M System educates more than 140,000 students and makes more than 22 million additional educational contacts through service and outreach programs each year. System-wide, research and development expenditures exceeded $946 million in FY 2015 and helped drive the state’s economy.
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