Former Air Force Chief of Staff Mark A. Welsh III Named 27th President of Texas A&M

The Texas A&M University System News Release image header. Office of Marketing Communications. 979-458-6023
Retired Four-Star General served as Bush School Dean, Interim A&M President.

BRYAN-COLLEGE STATION, Texas – The Texas A&M University System Board of Regents on Tuesday approved General (Ret.) Mark A. Welsh III as the 27th President of Texas A&M University.

“The board is certain that General Welsh will make a Texas-sized impact as President of our world-class flagship,” Chairman Bill Mahomes said. “His remarkable career embodies Aggie core values. Now his mission is to raise Texas A&M’s national stature in research, education, and student experience.”

Welsh, who has been Interim President since July, was named the board’s sole finalist for President on Nov. 17 at the recommendation of John Sharp, Chancellor of the Texas A&M University System.

“In his first few weeks as Interim President, General Welsh has moved quickly and decisively to reach out to all the stakeholders who hold Texas A&M University dear and near to their hearts,” Sharp said. “We are lucky to have such an experienced leader in our midst who supports our Aggie core values.”

Mahomes added, “Welsh is a collaborative, forward-thinking, servant leader whose contributions will enhance excellence at Texas A&M for generations. The board is pleased to have him as President.”

The board authorized Sharp to negotiate a final employment agreement with Welsh.

Prior to becoming interim President, Welsh was Dean of the Bush School of Government and Public Service since 2016. His service as dean followed a four-decade career in the U.S. Air Force, where he was a fighter pilot, a four-star general and the 20th Chief of Staff of the Air Force.

Additionally, Welsh commanded the U.S. Air Forces in Europe and NATO’s Air Command at Ramstein Air Base in Germany. And he served as associate director of military affairs at the Central Intelligence Agency as well as commandant of the United States Air Force Academy.

Welsh, a 1976 graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy, considers himself an Aggie by association. He grew up in San Antonio. His father, Mark A. Welsh Jr., Aggie Class of ’46, interrupted his studies to serve overseas in World War II.  The new president has five Aggie siblings, four Aggie children and a grandson enrolled in the Mays Business School.

After the Board meeting, Welsh released this statement:

“It has been an unbelievable privilege to represent Texas A&M as Interim President over the last few months — one of the greatest honors of my life. I’m grateful to the Board of Regents and Chancellor Sharp for their confidence in me, and I look forward to continuing to work with our incredible faculty, staff, and students to map out the road ahead for Texas A&M. I’m ready to get started.”

In other action, the Board:

  • Authorized President Welsh to negotiate and execute a ground lease of approximately 32.4 acres of land from NASA as the site of a research facility next to the Johnson Space Center. The Legislature appropriated $200 million for Texas A&M to construct the facility to research working on lunar and Mars surfaces.
  • Approved the second half of the $150 million necessary for construction of the Law & Education Building in Fort Worth, the first of a planned urban research campus. Construction began in June with the first half of the $150 million.

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 $7.8 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 153,000 students and makes more than 23 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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