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Bowen Loftin Stepping Down as A&M President

Bowen Loftin is stepping down as President of Texas A&M University in January.

Student Body President Reid Joseph, who was in the room when Loftin made the announcement Friday morning, said it was “definitely sad to hear the news, however we were all very excited to hear he was staying at A&M.”

Dr. Loftin will return to the classroom as a tenured professor in the College of Engineering and plans to open a research institute addressing behavior in terrorist organizations and the spread of diseases among human and animal populations.

The Speaker of the A&M Faculty Senate, Walter Daugherity, says the Senate appreciate Loftin “making students a central focus, since that’s what a university is all about.” Dr. Daugherity also said Loftin “was especially instrumental in the last legislative session helping get the previous cuts to higher education partially restored; as a result faculty and staff are looking forward to the first merit raises in several years.”

A&M System Chancellor John Sharp plans on asking the Board of Regents to give Loftin a generous separation agreement and help him establish the research institute.

Loftin became interim president in June 2009 and took over on a permanent basis the following February.

Sharp said a search committee will be formed after the start of the fall semester.

Daugherity and Joseph said faculty and students were interested in participating in the selection process of not only Loftin’s successor but the possibility of an interim president.

ReidJoseph071213.mp3Reid Joseph visits with WTAW’s Bill Oliver.

JohnSharp071213.mp3John Sharp visits with WTAW’s Bill Oliver.

As of 4:30 p.m. Friday, July 12, Loftin had 21, 679 followers on Twitter and 17,839 likes on Facebook.

Loftin did not post his announcement on Facebook but he was on Twitter:

How Bowen Loftin made his announcement on Twitter.

How Bowen Loftin made his announcement on Twitter.

 

Statement from the Speaker of the A&M Faculty Senate, Walter Daugherity:

President Loftin has generally done a good job in sometimes difficult situations, and we appreciate his making students a central focus, since that’s what a university is all about.

He was especially instrumental in the last legislative session helping get the previous cuts to higher education partially restored; as a result faculty and staff are looking forward to the first merit raises in several years.

Faculty will be eager to participate in the selection of a new president (and possibly an interim president), to find the best possible person to lead Texas A&M University going forward in our mission of teaching, research and scholarship, and service.

News release courtesy of Texas A&M University:

COLLEGE STATION, July 12, 2013–Dr. R. Bowen Loftin today announced that he will step down as president of Texas A&M University effective January 13, 2014. 

“Dr. Loftin has led Texas A&M University through a tremendous period of growth and advancement, ranging from the move to the SEC to over $700 million in research to the largest freshman class in the school’s history this fall,” said Phil Adams, chairman of The Texas A&M University System Board of Regents. “His service and commitment to Aggieland is appreciated and will long be remembered.”

Loftin was hired in February 2010 after serving eight months as interim president. Under Loftin’s leadership, Texas A&M has grown to record numbers, with student enrollment exceeding 50,000 students. Loftin has navigated the university through numerous milestones and is presently overseeing the merger with the Health Science Center and acquisition of Texas Wesleyan Law School. Prior to his appointment as President of Texas A&M, he served as a Vice President of the university and the CEO of Texas A&M University at Galveston.

“Loftin embodies the Aggie Core Values. We owe him an extreme debt of gratitude for his steadfast leadership and guidance, which has elevated Texas A&M into one of the best universities in this country,” said John Sharp, chancellor of the Texas A&M System. “He is absolutely at the top of his game and we look forward to his continued service.”

With his resignation, Dr. Loftin will be returning to the faculty and will serve as a tenured professor in the Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering in the Dwight Look College of Engineering. The university also plans to assist Loftin in establishing an institute that will focus on advanced, state-of-the-art modeling and simulation in human behavioral modeling in terrorist organizations and the spread of diseases among human and animal populations.

In a statement, Dr. Loftin offered the following:

“Since returning to Texas A&M in 2005 as a Vice President, my greatest joy has always been found in our students.  My love for them and for this extraordinary institution has never been stronger.  That being said, I do miss the opportunity to teach and do research—activities that have characterized my long career in higher education.  I look forward to teaching and mentoring ’my’ students and to leading multidisciplinary research teams in creating new knowledge and transforming that knowledge into useful applications.

“I will spend the next five months on programs and plans currently in development, such as management of the largest student body in the history of the school. In the following period, I will work with Provost Karan Watson as well as many of our deans and system agency directors toward the launch of a new institute at Texas A&M – to serve the state, the nation and the world. I will certainly miss being “aggieprez” (my twitter handle), but I will still be part of this great university and will be serving on the “front lines” of the academy, side-by-side with those I love the most—our students.”

Chancellor John Sharp intends to launch a national search for Dr. Loftin’s replacement and Texas A&M University faculty will be involved in that process.

Short URL: http://wtaw.com/?p=65956

Posted by on Jul 12 2013. Filed under Featured Stories, News.

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