A&M-Kingsville Alumnus Named Sole Finalist to Lead Alma Mater

The Texas A&M University System News Release image header. Office of Marketing Communications. 979-458-6023BRYAN-COLLEGE STATION, Texas — The Texas A&M University System Board of Regents today named Dr. Robert H. Vela Jr. as the sole finalist for the position of President of Texas A&M University-Kingsville.

Vela, who is currently President of San Antonio College, is a 1994 graduate of Texas A&M University-Kingsville and later received graduate degrees from that institution. He has a lengthy academic career that included leadership roles at Coastal Bend College, A&M-Kingsville, and San Jacinto College before he joined San Antonio College in 2008 as Dean of Student Affairs. He became President in 2014.

He is also President of the National Community College Hispanic Council and served on the Board of Directors for the American Association of Community Colleges.

Under Vela’s leadership, San Antonio College was the 2021 Aspen Prize Winner for Community College Excellence and Vela was named a Distinguished Alumni of Texas A&M University-Kingsville in 2015.

On Thursday, Chancellor John Sharp recommended Vela as sole finalist and the Board approved. Under state law, regents name a finalist for at least 21 days before making the appointment at a subsequent meeting.

“Dr. Vela knows and loves Texas A&M University-Kingsville. It will be a sweet homecoming,” said Chancellor Sharp. “With his vast experience, I can’t wait to see what he accomplishes for his alma mater.”

Vela responded to Thursday’s vote: “I want to thank Chancellor Sharp, Chairman Leach and the entire Board of Regents for this amazing opportunity to lead one of the finest institutions. I look forward to working with the faculty, staff and community to achieve great things.”

Vela succeeds Dr. Mark Hussey, who resigned in December to return to Texas A&M University where he has held multiple leadership roles.  Hussey is serving as Acting Vice Chancellor and Dean of Agriculture until that position is filled. At that time, Hussey will become director of the Borlaug Institute.

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 $9.6 billion. Through a statewide network of 11 universities, a comprehensive health science center, eight state agencies, and the RELLIS Campus, the Texas A&M System educates more than 152,000 students and makes more than 24 million additional educational contacts through service and outreach programs each year. System-wide, research and development expenditures exceed $1 billion and help drive the state’s economy.

Contact: Laylan Copelin
Vice Chancellor of Marketing and Communications
(979) 458-6425
(512) 289-2782 cell

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