The Texas A&M University System Board of Regents at a planned meeting today voted to grant Chancellor John Sharp and Texas A&M University President R. Bowen Loftin the authority to investigate and pursue an administrative change bringing the Texas A&M Health Science Center under the administration of the system’s flagship university.
“This move will place Texas A&M in a unique collaborative and competitive position to realize the extensive academic and research opportunities made possible through the merging of two institutions that are currently leading the way in biomedical education and discoveries,” Sharp said. “Ultimately, joining these two exemplary institutions will allow the State of Texas and its citizens to reap numerous benefits through increased scientific discoveries and an influx of highly trained, innovative professionals entering the state’s workforce.”
Details regarding the proposed realignment now will be considered by a Strategic Oversight Committee led by Loftin and Nancy W. Dickey, M.D., president of TAMHSC and vice chancellor for health affairs for the A&M System, and comprised of representatives from both institutions in the areas of academics, research, finance, governmental affairs and communications.
“The realignment will allow for a strategic prioritization of Texas A&M’s resources to meet the critical needs of the state, as well as society’s grandest medical challenges,” Loftin said. “Students at the Texas A&M Health Science Center in Bryan/College Station have been attending classes, utilizing our campus services, and participating in many campus activities prior to the merger. Now health professions students across all Texas A&M campuses will soon be able to receive an Aggie Ring and other benefits afforded to the Texas A&M student body.”
Both institutions will work with the appropriate regulatory and accrediting bodies, including the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, Liaison Committee on Medical Education, Commission on Dental Accreditation, Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, Texas Board of Nursing, Council on Education for Public Health, and Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education to determine the proper steps for enacting such an administrative change.
“Bringing TAMHSC under the Texas A&M University umbrella will afford students at both institutions the opportunity to seamlessly participate in interdisciplinary programs that intersect human, animal, and plant science to more effectively prepare them for careers in the ever-evolving fields of life-science and healthcare,” Dickey said. “Additionally, the union will allow researchers at both entities to take full advantage of the comprehensive and geographically expansive Texas A&M network of scientists through expanded collaborations not just in the Brazos Valley, but from as far south as McAllen to as far north as Dallas.”
A specific timeline and determination of the exact organizational structure will be developed pending further exploration by the Strategic Oversight Committee, as well as with the appropriate accrediting bodies.
About the A&M System
The A&M System is one of the largest systems of higher education in the nation, with a budget of $3.3 billion. Through a statewide network of 11 universities, seven state agencies and a comprehensive health science center, the A&M System educates more than 120,000 students and makes more than 22 million additional educational contacts through service and outreach programs each year. Externally funded research expenditures exceed $780 million and help drive the state’s economy.