Search Committee Recommends Three for A&M Presidency

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The search advisory committee charged with whittling down the list of applicants for Texas A&M University president has turned over three recommendations to The Texas A&M University System Board of Regents.

Exactly who is on that list, however, remains unknown.

In turning over their findings, committee members have completed their work and the committee has been dissolved.

“The search committee has sent the Regents recommendations concerning several excellent candidates to serve as the next president of Texas A&M University,” A&M System Chancellor Mike McKinney said in a news release. “Our goal remains finding an outstanding leader who can guide this great university in meeting its academic and research goals.”

More than 100 candidates applied for the university's top position. Doug Slack, an A&M professor who headed up the search committee, says that included more than 40 university presidents past and present.

Slack describes the three people as "outstanding, nationally-known candidates," and says they are all sitting presidents at public institutions. He added that one of the candidates is considered among the top five presidents in the nation by his or her peers.

The names are being kept confidential as per agreements between A&M and the candidates.

Interviews with a number of top candidates were conducted by the search committee. Slack adds that further interviews have been conducted by the Board of Regents since the three recommendations were handed over to the board.

The job came open after former A&M president Robert Gates left in December 2006 to become the nation's secretary of defense.

The committee's recommendations are not considered finalists, though Slack does not believe the A&M System Board of Regents will deviate from their three selections. Slack's expectation is that the board will name a single finalist for the job. A timeline for that announcement is not known.

“We need to get this right. We are choosing the leader of one of the top institutions in the country," Board Vice Chairman John White said. "We want to make sure the individual we select has the background, energy and vision needed to lead a world-class institution like Texas A&M University.”