Texas A&M president Michael Young moves up his departure date to December 31st.
According to a prepared statement on A&M’s website, Young wants to start his new positions with the Bush School and A&M’s law school. That includes leading his newly created institute for religious liberties and international affairs.
Texas A&M system chancellor John Sharp is recommending as interim president, John Junkins, who is a professor in A&M’s college of engineering.
Statement from Michael Young:
As I reflect on the year, I am immensely thankful that we have arrived where we are. We have combatted the pandemic with some success – and must continue to do so – while maintaining focus upon continuity of health and safety, our educational and research mission, best-in-class athletics, and, as always, our core values.
We are clearly not out of the woods yet, but I am confident that we have the necessary processes, people and tools in place to successfully navigate the coming year. Undoubtedly, the new year will be filled with continued health protection protocols, vaccinations, hard work in service to others on and off campus, hope and continued resiliency, as is the Aggie way.
As this year comes to an end, I have also had time to reflect on my own interests and where I can make the greatest contribution. After a quarter of a century in senior academic leadership roles, I find myself increasingly drawn to return to the passions that drew me to a career in higher education in the first place. I have become particularly excited to soon become immersed as a full-time member of the faculty of the Bush School of Government and Public Service, as well as the School of Law, and again work on the issues that have engaged me for much of my career, especially issues related to religious freedom and international affairs. I believe our newly created Institute for Religious Liberties and International Affairs will be an enormously powerful vehicle to explore these issues and advance our understanding, and I want to begin work on building that Institute as soon as possible.
To this end, I have informed Chancellor Sharp of my wish to complete the fall semester and then step down as President, effective December 31, 2020.
We have a busy month ahead with final exams, graduation ceremonies, athletic events and holidays. I will be engaged to finish out this year successfully and facilitate a smooth transition.
Thank you for the incredible opportunity to serve as your 25th President. As this great university goes forward, please take care of each other, Aggies. Commit to the success of each other in heart and action — the institution and Aggies will thrive as they always have.
Statement from John Sharp:
Today I accepted Michael K. Young’s resignation as President, effective December 31, 2020. I want to thank him for his service to Texas A&M University and I look forward to seeing him fulfill his passion to create an institute addressing the issues of religious freedom and international affairs.
During his tenure, the university increased research expenditures nearly 13 percent, to almost $1 billion a year; concluded a $4 billion Lead by Example fundraising campaign; and experienced a rise in national and world rankings.
President Young faced a critical final year because of the pandemic, but he and the campus leadership have navigated it well. They deserve our thanks.
To continue that stewardship, I am recommending Dr. John L. Junkins as Interim President. He is a Distinguished Professor of Aerospace Engineering and the holder of the Royce E. Wisenbaker Chair in Innovation in the College of Engineering as well Founding Director of the Hagler Institute of Advanced Study.
Dr. Junkins is an accomplished researcher, outstanding teacher and an innovator whose Institute has transformed our faculty. He also will bring a steady hand to the tiller to ensure that Texas A&M successfully navigates the next few months until a successor is named.