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Texas A&M releases consultant report, offers recommendations
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Texas A&M releases consultant report, offers recommendations

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A consultant’s report released by Texas A&M University on Monday recommends reorganizing the university’s Office of the Provost and Student Affairs and combining the College of Liberal Arts, College of Science and College of Geosciences into a new College of Arts & Sciences.

The 130-page report was compiled by MGT Consulting and Martin+Crumption Group after a four-month review of the university’s organizational structure of central offices at the executive level and administration units.

Texas A&M University President M. Katherine Banks, who took over as president in June, said the next step of the process is gathering input on the report’s recommendations.

“Today, we are calling on Texas A&M stakeholders to offer input as part of a process to reach our shared goal of positioning this university to be a global leader in academics and research for decades to come,” Banks said in a statement.

Input will be accepted over the next two weeks, she said.

“All perspectives are important and will be considered. I anticipate announcing in December, after careful review of the input, which recommendations will be accepted, rejected, modified or require further study.”

Banks said a committee and working groups will move forward with planning and implementation procedures over the next semester, with complete implementation by Sept. 1.

Other recommendations from the firm included centralizing the university’s marking and communications, clarifying A&M’s marketing and branding guidelines and streamlining the university’s digital presence and contracts.

The consultants recommended reorganizing the provost’s office and redistributing responsibilities to other university units; “the Office of the Provost at TAMU is too large, hindering its ability to provide more individualized assistance and serve the needs of faculty and staff,” the report states.

Recommendations included moving certain units from the provost’s office to Student Affairs, with other units removed from Student Affairs.

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Among the notable recommendations is integrating A&M’s Student Health Services and Counseling and Psychological Services into Texas A&M Health. The report said the goal would be the formation of a unit focused on providing holistic student health services.

Combining the colleges of Liberal Arts, Science and Geosciences into a new College of Arts and Sciences would “heighten its stature as the home for one of the largest undergraduate curricula at TAMU. The merger will increase the institutional size of the College of Arts and Sciences and redefine TAMU’s largest units into a four-legged stool structure: Arts and Sciences, Engineering, AgriLife, and Texas A&M Health,” the report states.

Academic recommendations included establishing a School of Performing Arts and a journalism department, and relocating A&M’s Department of Visualization from the College of Architecture to anchor a new School of Performing Arts.

The consulting firm recommended expanding the Bush School of Government and Public Service by merging it with the Department of Political Science. “A major investment in the Bush School is needed to elevate it to fulfill its potential to create many future leaders in public service and become a top-ranked national leader in the public policy arena,” the report states.

The report also recommends the construction of a new small animal hospital and a performing arts center.

The report said despite having an Academy for Visual and Performing Arts, A&M does not have a modern performing arts center to host indoor large-scale events for students and the community. The report said existing A&M land is available and should be used to create parks and other outdoor gathering spaces.

The report said “to remain a leader in small animal veterinary medicine and further the College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences’ primary mission, TAMU should invest in transforming the existing small animal hospital.”

A&M should have centralized financial and business services under a chief financial officer, the report states, saying this would allow for greater transparency and efficiency. A&M’s current model makes it “difficult for administrators to strategically allocate funds to departments and academic units,” the report states, adding, “there is little oversight for administrative expenditures which can allow administrative bloat and duplication of services.”

The report also recommended centralizing undergraduate academic advising. While it is not uncommon for A&M students to change their major, the report states, A&M’s five-step process for students to change it “can be time consuming and daunting for students who are unfamiliar with navigating the processes and deadlines that are established within each college.”

In recommending consolidating Information Technology across campus, the consultants said the university’s “Information Technology structure is inefficient and ineffective for a university of the stature and size of TAMU.”

The report also recommended establishing a campuswide IT help desk and ticketing system.

The full report can be found at feedback.tamu.edu.

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