Texas A&M-Kingsville Alumnus, Robert Vela Jr., Named President

The Texas A&M University System News Release image header. Office of Marketing Communications. 979-458-6023

FORT WORTH, Texas — The Texas A&M University System Board of Regents today confirmed Dr. Robert H. Vela Jr. as the 21st President of Texas A&M University-Kingsville.

Vela is a 1994 graduate of Texas A&M University-Kingsville and a holder of two graduate degrees from that institution. He was named a Distinguished Alumni of Texas A&M University-Kingsville in 2015.

He is coming from San Antonio College, where as President he led that school to the 2021 Aspen Prize Winner for Community College Excellence,

“President Vela has demonstrated he is an academic leader who can turn around an institution,” said Chancellor John Sharp. “He also has a deep, abiding love for his alma mater. He will be a great asset.”

Vela has had 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.

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 the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences 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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