Tuesday, June 13, 2017

George Wright Stepping Down as President of Prairie View A&M

COLLEGE STATION, Texas — Dr. George Wright announced today (June 13, 2017)he is stepping down as President of Prairie View A&M University and will return to teaching history full-time after an interim President is named.

“I have served this University and the Texas A&M System for 14 years, and I am proud of the progress that we have made in that time,” Dr. Wright said. “But for all of us, the time comes to lay down the responsibilities that go with a job like this one and focus on other things.”

Dr. Wright had continued to teach and do research while serving as President, but he expressed a desire to devote his time to the classroom.

“I want to thank President Wright for his steadfast leadership,” said Texas A&M System Chancellor John Sharp. “He touched a generation of students and faculty, and he changed lives for the better. He is to be commended, and we will miss him greatly.”

During President Wright’s tenure, Prairie View A&M’s enrollment grew from 6,500 to 9,000 while the university advanced academically, creating doctorates in education, engineering, nursing practice and juvenile justice. Both the Confucius Institute and the Honors College were also established under President Wright’s leadership.

Prairie View A&M also has enjoyed a construction boom with the opening of: a new School of Architecture building; the Don K. Clark Building, home of the College of Juvenile Justice, Psychology and Texas Crime Prevention Center; the Electrical Engineering building; the College of Nursing’s 12-story facility located in the Texas Medical Center in Houston; and new football stadium.

“I want to thank the Board of Regents of The Texas A&M University System, Chancellor Sharp, and especially, all my many friends and colleagues at this great University and our many alumni for helping make this the best 14 years anyone could ask for,” said Dr. Wright.

Statement by Dr. George Wright:

After giving it a considerable amount of thought and consulting with Chancellor Sharp, I am announcing that I am stepping down as President of Prairie View A&M University as soon as an interim President can be named.

I have served this University and the Texas A&M System for 14 years, and I am proud of the progress that we have made in that time. But for all of us, the time comes to lay down the responsibilities that go with a job like this one and focus on other things. In my case, as most of you know, I have continued to teach and do research while serving as President. What I plan to do is focus more on my research, which requires more travel and attention than I can give it in my current role.

I have decided that this is a good time because we have just put the last legislative session behind us, and we are at a point where a transition in leadership will have the least disruption on our school. I want to thank the Board of Regents of The Texas A&M University System, Chancellor Sharp, and especially, all my many friends and colleagues at this great University and our many alumni for helping make this the best 14 years anyone could ask for.

Together, we have accomplished much:

• Enrollment has grown from 6,500 to 9,000

• Created Doctorates in Education, Engineering, Nursing Practice, and Juvenile Justice

• Established the degree programs at the Northwest Houston Center

• Created the Honors College

• Established the Confucius Institute

• The Undergraduate Medical Academy exceeds the national average of students accepted into Medical School.

• Prairie View A&M University nominated for five HBCU awards in 2015, including HBCU of the Year, Business Program of the Year and Nursing Program of the Year

• Opening of several state of the art facilities: - ­The School of Architecture housed in a three story, 105,000 square-foot building.

-­ The Don K. Clark Building, home of the College of Juvenile Justice, Psychology and Texas Crime Prevention Center.

-­ The Electrical Engineering Building.

-­ The College of Nursing’s leading edge 12-story nursing educational facility, located in the Texas Medical Center in Houston.

-­ And, of course, a new football stadium.

You have made this a special job, at a special time, in a special place, and I will always be near and have you all in my heart.

Continue to do the outstanding work you have been doing, and I will watch with interest how the University proceeds in the coming years. Thank you.

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 $4.2 billion. Through a statewide network of 11 universities and seven state agencies, the Texas A&M System educates more than 148,000 students and makes more than 22 million additional educational contacts through service and outreach programs each year. System-wide, research and development expenditures exceeded $972 million in FY 2016 and helped drive the state’s economy.

Contact: Laylan Copelin Vice Chancellor of Marketing and Communications (979) 458-6425 (512) 289-2782 cell lcopelin@tamus.edu.

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