After 38 years of public service, including the last two as chancellor of The Texas A&M University System, Chancellor Robert D. McTeer Thursday announced his plans to retire by the end of this year. He became chancellor of The Texas A&M University System on Nov. 4, 2004, after a 36-year career in various leadership positions with the Federal Reserve System, most recently as president and CEO of the Dallas Fed.
The announcement was made Thursday to give the A&M System Board of Regents enough time to select a successor before the next legislative session.
Employees seemed surprised by McTeer's retirement, but according to the university the announcement was not a surprise.
McTeer declined an on-camera interview, but Board of Regents Chairman John White released this statement.
"I think anytime you start a relationship like that you think it's going to go on forever," White said. "It's been a good relationship with the Board of Regents and with Dr. McTeer. And again in an advisory capacity he will help us make the transition."
“During his tenure, Bob was involved in tremendous growth throughout the System, and, at the same time, addressed many challenges,” said White. “In each instance, he demonstrated a thoughtful, professional approach, always reflecting the best interests of the Texas A&M System. On a personal level, I have appreciated his candor, his spirit of collaboration and his wit. On behalf of the entire Board of Regents, I wish Bob well and look forward to working with him on a smooth and productive transition.”
“I have enjoyed these last two years immensely and will always treasure the new friendships I’ve made and the new experiences I’ve had at the A&M System,” McTeer said. “I believe I have made some positive contributions, but that is for others to judge. In particular, I want to thank Texas A&M University President Bob Gates for his friendship and support during my tenure. I stand ready to assist the System and my successor any way I can during the transition and beyond in an advisory capacity,” he added.
Of McTeer’s retirement, Gates said, “I believe Bob McTeer is one of the best things ever to happen to Texas A&M University. He and I quickly became both friends and partners, and I could not have hoped for better in either category. To cite one example, Texas A&M University is beginning the most ambitious construction program in its history, over $500 million worth. It, along with our faculty expansion program, will transform this University forever. And we have Bob to thank for making that construction program happen. That is only one of his contributions during his tenure. Personally, I will miss working with him very much.”
Also notable among McTeer’s accomplishments is the decision to put more emphasis on technology commercialization throughout the A&M System, first by appointing a vice chancellor to lead the effort and elevating the function to the System level, and later by revising the System’s tenure policy to take patents and commercialization of research into account in the faculty tenure process.
"The Texas A&M System has been fortunate to have a distinguished economist and visionary like Bob McTeer as chancellor for the last two years,” said Guy Diedrich, vice chancellor for technology commercialization for the A&M System. “His deep understanding of the valuable relationship between universities and businesses generated the most important technology commercialization initiatives and reforms in two decades. Recognizing the importance of technology transfer in the tenure process is a legacy that will benefit young researchers and universities for years to come."
During McTeer’s tenure, the Texas Institute for Genomic Medicine (TIGM) was established, in collaboration with Lexicon Genetics Incorporated, resulting from a $50 million investment from the Texas Enterprise Fund. TIGM is creating the world’s largest collection of mouse embryonic stem cells to accelerate the pace of medical discoveries and foster the development of the biotechnology industry in Texas. TIGM facilities are under construction in College Station and Houston.
McTeer also was instrumental in ensuring that funding was secured which allowed the Rangel College of Pharmacy at the Texas A&M Health Science Center on the campus of Texas A&M-Kingsville to open as scheduled this fall.
As far as what is ahead for McTeer, he said he hopes to utilize his background and experience on corporate boards and perhaps on the speaking circuit. Anticipating more travel, he and his wife, Suzanne, will move to the Dallas area.
The A&M System Board of Regents, which meets Sept. 21-22 in College Station, will decide on a plan of action for choosing McTeer’s successor at that meeting.
The A&M System is one of the largest systems of higher education in the nation. Through a statewide network of nine universities, seven state agencies and a comprehensive health science center, the A&M System educates more than 101,000 students and makes more than 15 million additional educational contacts through service and outreach programs each year. Externally funded research brings in $600 million every year and helps drive the state’s economy.
McTeer will act as an advisor to the system because of his experience with the legislature and the A&M System.
Chairman White said they hope to have a new chancellor in place by the end of the year.
Full Statement from Bob McTeer:
After 38 years of public service, including the last two as chancellor, I am planning to retire by the end of this year. The exact date will depend on the search for a successor and other factors. I have enjoyed these last two years immensely and will always treasure the new friendships I’ve made and the new experiences I’ve had at the A&M System. I believe I have made some positive contributions to the System and higher education in general, but that is for others to judge.
In particular, I want to thank you for your friendship and support during my tenure. I stand ready to assist the System and my successor any way I can during the transition and beyond in an advisory capacity.
As far as what is ahead for me, I hope to utilize my background and experience on corporate boards and perhaps on the speaking circuit. Anticipating more travel, Suzanne and I are planning to move to the Dallas area.
The Board of Regents will decide on a plan of action for choosing my successor at the September board meeting.
Thank you for your commitment to the A&M System and for your patience and perseverance during the leadership transition.
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