Dr. Robert Gates has been president of Texas A&M only since 2002, but his services have already been requested back in Washington.
Gates today confirmed rumors he had been offered the newly-created position of Director of National Intelligence, and also said he had turned the position down. Gates headed up the Central Intelligence Agency under the first President Bush.
KBTX was the only news organization to receive further comment from Gates, who told other media his statement was sufficient.
"I think that it is a unique American institution," he told KBTX of A&M. "I think that the people here -- the students, the faculty, the staff, the townspeople -- are just terrific. I've really developed a deep devotion to the place."
Gates's statement was posted on Texas A&M's website. It reads:
"...there seems to be a growing number of rumors in the media and around campus that I am leaving Texas A&M to become the new Director of National Intelligence ("Intelligence Czar") in Washington, D.C. To put the rumors to rest, I was indeed asked to take the position, wrestled with perhaps the most difficult -- and close -- decision of my life, and last week declined the position. I was deeply honored to be asked and would have been honored to serve. However, I decided to continue to serve at Texas A&M. In fact, last week I agreed to the Board of Regents request that I remain as President at least through summer 2008."
The newly-created position is separate from the CIA director's, and would manage and direct intelligence agencies' activities. The new job was part of the massive reform of intelligence passed by Congress at the end of last year.