Dr. James Nelson Named Director of Special Academic Initiatives for New RELLIS Campus

COLLEGE STATION, Texas — John Sharp, Chancellor of The Texas A&M University System, today announced the appointment of Dr. James K. Nelson as Director of Special Academic Initiatives.

Nelson, who has been with the Texas A&M System since January focused on academic initiatives in engineering at several A&M institutions, including the planned teaching center in McAllen, will add the RELLIS Campus, formerly the Riverside Campus, to his duties.

Chancellor Sharp last month announced the RELLIS Campus as an education alternative where students could obtain 4-year degrees from various A&M System universities, other than Texas A&M University, without leaving Bryan-College Station.

In addition to the proposed Education Center and a Blinn College building just announced, the 2,000-acre campus will include seven new buildings associated with the A&M System’s engineering and transportation agencies. Companies also will be invited to create their own secure research facilities there.

“RELLIS Campus is a revolutionary idea that will serve multiple purposes for the benefit of the community and students,” said Chancellor Sharp. “But at the heart of it are academics and research and Dr. Nelson, in his short time with us, has demonstrated the right skills to tackle this crucial task.”

Dr. Nelson said RELLIS Campus is an exciting opportunity.

“Higher education is changing,” said Dr. Nelson. “RELLIS Campus can become a national model for that change.”

Before coming to the Texas A&M System, Dr. Nelson joined the faculty of the University of Texas at Tyler in 2005, becoming the founding chairman of the Department of Civil Engineering and Dean of Engineering. Prior to that, Dr. Nelson worked in industry and had a varied academic experience, including stints at Texas A&M University at Galveston and Texas A&M University.

He received a Bachelor of Civil Engineering from the University of Dayton and a Master’s and Ph.D. in Civil Engineering from the University of Houston.

Dr. Nelson is married and has a daughter, a recent graduate of the University of Texas at Tyler.

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, seven state agencies and a comprehensive health science center, 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.

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

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