Faculty Senate react to expected recommendation of Gen. Welsh to full president

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Published: Nov. 14, 2023 at 5:41 PM CST
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COLLEGE STATION, Texas (KBTX) - A Texas A&M Faculty Senate meeting lasted hours as discussions of the future of the University President position remain at the top of Board of Regent schedules.

According to the university and sources, a meeting on Friday with the Board of Regents will have a recommendation presented to make Interim President General Mark Welsh the full president. Welsh is the lone finalist, with a recommendation from System Chancellor John Sharp.

When this was announced, Sharp highlighted the importance of seeing faculty feedback on the recommendation. This will happen after the recommendation is made, during a 21-day waiting period before the appointment is finalized.

A&M faculty leaders met Monday to discuss how their opinions actually fit into the selection process.

The meeting lasted three and a half hours, where conversations centered around a debate on what the faculty senate recommendation would look like.

Many leaders stated their support for Welsh to slide into the position permanently, citing stability for the university. While others said he may be the best pick, but they would like to see a nationwide search completed before the appointment is made.

Ultimately, the senate agreed to create a recommendation should Welsh be named Friday, and include their desire for searches in the future. University leaders added that Welsh was included in the vetting and one of the finalists in the process that led to the hire of former president Katherine Banks.

Another piece of conversation surrounded how Welsh feels about the recommendation. Leaders questioned Welsh’s intentions for taking the position in the long run, citing previous conversations about his wishes to retire in the next two to three years.

“I think what is important at this point is for President Welsh to approach the faculty, approach the whole university, the whole community and tell us what he’s planning to do as President. We don’t know and I hope that the State of the University in two weeks will be a good opportunity for him to do that but we don’t know where he stands so many things that are important to many stakeholders including faculty,” Jorge Alvarado, Professor, Engineering Technology & Industrial Distribution, said.

KBTX reached out to university leaders about an interview with Welsh to discuss his intentions for the permanent position. The University said a statement will be released following the Board of Regents meeting and Welsh will not be available until after the 21-day waiting period.

The State of the University Address will be held with Welsh on Nov. 29. If he is recommended by the Board of Regents on Friday, the waiting period will expire on Dec. 8.

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