BRYAN-COLLEGE STATION, Texas — The Texas A&M University System Board of Regents on Monday adopted a series of initiatives to address issues of diversity at Texas A&M, including almost $25 million in additional money for scholarships and a greater emphasis on recruiting minority students and faculty.
John L. Junkins, Texas A&M’s interim president, presented his recommendations Monday after John E. Hurtado ’91 and Jimmy Williams ’83, co-chairs of the Commission on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, briefed the Regents on the commission’s report, “Stronger Together.” In July, then-President Michael K. Young named a 45-member commission that included current and former students, faculty and staff, as well as two Regents and a university president.
“The data and discussions of the commission show that Texas A&M has reached an inflection point, and it is time for Aggies to do what Aggies do best: lead and serve,” according to the Commission’s Executive Summary. “Our work as a commission revealed that there remains within the Aggie community a strong desire to show bold leadership in support of diversity, equity and inclusion; to commit to improving our campus climate; to trust one another; to have difficult conversations; and to ensure that ALL Aggies are welcome and respected at the school we think so grand.”
In its statement, the Board said the Commission’s report underlines a “need for us to continue applying energy and focus on making sure all Aggies share in the extraordinary bond that makes us special and our university unique.”
To that end, the Board statement said, “We will not tolerate disrespect of any Aggie by any member of our family, nor will we tolerate the disrespect of Aggie traditions that bind us together.”
Junkins’ recommendations, which the Regents unanimously approved, would expand the minority student pipeline with a greater emphasis on recruitment as well as expanding several scholarship programs.
“What we do best at Texas A&M is to take ordinary kids and turn them into extraordinary citizens,” said Chancellor John Sharp. “The biggest favor Texas A&M can do for Texas is to be sure there is at least one Aggie ring in every Texas family. That is what this effort is all about.”
The Board of Regents’ full statement, incorporating the recommendations, can be read here.
About The Texas A&M University System
The Texas A&M University System is one of the largest systems of higher education in the nation with a budget of $6.3 billion. The System is a statewide network of 11 universities; a comprehensive health science center; eight state agencies, including the Texas Division of Emergency Management; and the RELLIS Campus. The Texas A&M System educates more than 151,000 students and makes more than 22 million additional educational contacts through service and outreach programs each year. System-wide, research and development expenditures exceeded $1 billion in FY 2019 and helped drive the state’s economy.
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