COLLEGE STATION, Texas — Texas A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp said Wednesday he will not ask the Board of Regents to take a vote on studying a merger of Texas A&M University-Kingsville and Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi because the idea is no longer politically viable.
Sharp still intends to host a town hall meeting in Robstown, halfway between Kingsville and Corpus Christi, on Monday to clear up misconceptions about the process and to make his case for why the merger would be good for the future of the two schools and the region.
“I asked for the meeting in Robstown, knowing the community support is not there to make it viable. I believe a majority of the Regents, perhaps a super majority, support the concept,” Chancellor Sharp said. “I have always said this will pass only with community support, but I believe so strongly in this that I hope folks will attend Monday’s meeting or watch online. They will learn the facts are way different from what the media has been saying.”
The Robstown meeting will begin at 1 p.m. Monday at the Richard M. Borchard Regional Fairgrounds, 1213 Terry Shamsie Blvd. The meeting may also be viewed live at https://www.facebook.com/tamusystem
Last week Chancellor Sharp and leaders from both universities presented the pluses and minuses of a merger to the Board of Regents but did not seek a vote on pursuing the proposal. Ultimately, only the Legislature can merge the two schools.
In the presentation, university officials said a combined university would be able to better leverage their resources and compete for additional funding as the Texas A&M System’s first emerging research university. The board presentation and discussion can be viewed at http://ow.ly/ZaU1306e0Yw and the power point can be viewed at https://www.tamus.edu/regents/merger-powerpoint/.
Chancellor Sharp has said he was invited to several meetings in Corpus Christi and Kingsville prior to the Board presentation, and he responded to questions from community leaders, but he always reminded everyone that the Board of Regents and the Texas Legislature would determine whether the merger should occur or not.
“But I have said from the beginning that, if we can’t convince the community, it isn’t going to happen,” Chancellor Sharp said.
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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