Texas A&M named #1 university in Texas, provost discusses what’s going right, improvements needed

Texas A&M was rated #1 University in Texas and 6th Best Public University nationwide by the Wall Street Journal
KBTX News 3 at Ten(Recurring)
Published: Sep. 19, 2023 at 5:29 PM CDT
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COLLEGE STATION, Texas (KBTX) - Texas A&M has moved up in the rankings, claiming the title of #1 University in the state of Texas according to the Wall Street Journal.

The Wall Street Journal also placed them as the 6th best public university nationwide. This is just one of two recent reports showing significant improvements in outcomes.

According to the U.S. News and World Report ranking of the nation’s Best Colleges, Texas A&M improved by 20 spots, securing #47 in the nation and #20 among public universities.

This is following months of negative press surrounding a botched hire that led to a vacancy in the University President’s seat. Texas A&M University Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, Dr. Alan Sams, says while the university continues to recover from the incidents, they look forward to building on the momentum.

“We find our graduates, our students are highly sought after in terms of employability and by career recruiters because of this because they have this can-do kind of attitude that comes from all of these experiences as part of their educations,” Dr. Sams said. “Land Grant Universities have a unique nature to them in that we are, we exist to serve the needs of society and to have our you know finger on the pulse of where the needs are and so we’re using this to help reach into areas of the state maybe that we’re trying to increase our presence and increase the impact that we’ve got there.”

The rankings for the report from the Wall Street Journal are based on student outcomes, the learning environment and diversity.

“I think they changed some ways that they you know looked at things a little bit more complex way that really reflected well on A&M’s philosophy and its approach to how we educate students and I think that’s reflected in the positions that were in and the recognition of the impact that our students are having,” he said.

When asked what aspects he thought could be improved, Dr. Sams said making the university more financially achievable. He said there is already work being done with partnerships with local bookstores and through exploring resources already available through the libraries.

“Certainly on our radar is affordability. We continue to chip away at that and try to make improvements in everything from our latest effort. This year’s a huge push in open educational resources. So Open Access textbooks and course materials and things we’ve made a large investment this year in grants to faculty to either convert their textbook into an Open Access version or to convert their course to fit an existing Open Access book,” Dr. Sams said.