Texas A&M President R. Bowen Loftin's upcoming departure from his position came as a surprise for students, faculty and staff.
News 3 was on campus for reaction and also spoke with President R. Bowen Loftin.
President Loftin has served during a time of major changes and accomplishments for Texas A&M.
Many on campus were already aware of his announcement Friday afternoon, but the question so many of us want to know is why now?
It's a change at the top at Texas A&M with President R. Bowen Loftin announcing his departure from the presidency and transition to a new professor position at the university next year.
Loftin is popular with students who affectionately call him "Bowtie" at times.
Students like Thaddeus Smith had great things to say.
"Whatever he does I wish him the best of luck because he's, I'm a big fan of his," said Smith.
"I know he's done a lot of great things for the university," said Mark Saenz, another Texas A&M Student.
Texas A&M Custodial Worker Ronald Toliver hadn't heard about the change until News 3 told him.
"Like I say I wish them the best and whoever replace him I wish them the best and do the right thing and keep this campus going," said Toliver.
Loftin paused to shake hands with News 3 as he walked passed us into Rudder Tower to meet his grandson and didn't stop for an interview.
"There's time next week, ok?," said R. Bowen Loftin, Ph.D., as he walked by.
Faculty Senate Speaker Walter Daugherity says Loftin's short term legacy will be his stability.
"I think we went through four presidents in three years before he got here," said Daugherity, Ed.D.
Daugherity says Loftin's relationship with the Faculty Senate was good and was surprised by his announcement.
"There's no decision that is going to simultaneously make faculty, students, former students, chancellor, board of regents, legislators and governor all happy at the same time," added Daugherity.
Loftin will teach engineering at Texas A&M next year.
"His rapport with students and his concern and love for them definitely is genuine," said Daugherity.
Chancellor John Sharp tells us a nationwide search is starting to find President Loftin's replacement.
The Faculty Senate Speaker says they plan to also assist with that search.
President Loftin's departure from his office is effective January 13th of next year.
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