Graduate School Formation

Graduate and Professional Studies is transitioning from an “office” to a Graduate and Professional School. The change represents an effort by OGAPS to fulfill a institutional strategic goal of strengthening graduate education at Texas A&M in order to raise the bar of excellence for the University as a whole.
The decision to seek this change was reached after careful consideration by the OGAPS leadership based on input from independent research firms and graduate education stakeholders. OGAPS believes that the transition will help raise the profile of graduate studies at Texas A&M, improve the graduate student experience, enhance interdisciplinary efforts across colleges, aid retention and student success initiatives, and improve efforts to increase diversity, among other benefits. 
To gather input from university stakeholders on a shift to a graduate school, OGAPS has convened a task force consisting of, faculty, staff, graduate students, and administrators.

Background (led to the request to establish a Graduate School)

  • Vision 2020 identified the value of graduate education in achieving the university’s aspirational goals; in particular, Imperative 2: Strengthen Our Graduate Programs. 
  • ​The Graduate Experiences Task Force, convened in 2009, identified three areas for improvement: (1) Quality of Life; (2) Compensations and Benefits; and (3) Professional Development. 
  • In 2018-2019, OGAPS performed benchmarking analyses of peer institutions, research on graduate unit organizations and structures, and visited graduate units at three institutions. 

Request to Establish Graduate School

  • Building on the aforementioned information and input, as well as feedback from the TAMU 2020-2025 Strategic Plan discussions, in December 2019, the Associate Provost Dr. Karen Butler-Purry requested to shift the Office of Graduate and Professional Studies to a Graduate School model. 
  • Click here to access the 'Graduate School Proposal Memorandum'
  • To inform the request, Dr. Karen Butler-Purry proposed to convene a task force to gather input and provide recommendations on the scope of the requested Graduate School. 

Task Force Charge 

  • During the spring semester, the task force will focus on gathering input from stakeholders [e.g. faculty senate, council of deans, GOC Deans, URC Deans, graduate students, CPI, etc.] on the establishment of a Graduate School and its scope. 
  • The task force will continue into the next academic year with a charge to provide recommendations on changes needed to achieve the graduate and professional education goals in the 2020-2025 University strategic plan.

Task Force Membership List

Task Force Timeline

  • February 26, 2020 Task Force Meeting #1 
  • Mid-March to Mid-June 2020 Stakeholder Presentations 
  • June 2020 Task Force Meeting #2 
  • Late June Associate Provost submits recommendations to Provost based on Task Force Inputs 
  • September 2020 Task Force Reconvenes

Schedule of Stakeholder Presentations




Graduate and Professional Student Government

March 17

5:30 pm

(Council of Principal Investigators)

April 8

11:15 am

(Council of Deans)

April 1

9:15 am

(Graduate Operations Committee)

May 4

3:00 pm

DH Steering Committee
(Department Head Steering Committee)

April 7

11:30 am

URC Deans
(University Research Council)

May 13

10:00 am

Faculty Senate

June 15

3:00 pm

Draft Graduate School Proposal

This document asserts a rationale for the establishment of the Texas A&M University Graduate School and provides a framework detailing changes in the scope of the existing Office of Graduate and Professional Studies. The proposed changes articulated in this document constitute a basis for a shift from an “Office” of Graduate and Professional Studies to a Graduate School in the summer of 2020

Copy of Stakeholder Presentation  

Task Force Report #1

Task Force Subcommittees

Master's, Doctoral, and First Professional Doctoral Subcommittees were formed in Fall 2020 to review current operations and make recommendations on the shift to a Graduate and Professional School.

Task Force Subcommittee Reports

The Master's, Doctoral, and First Professional Doctoral Subcommittees compiled reports based on input from from subcommittee members and the campus community. 
Master's Subcommittee Report
Doctoral Subcommittee Report
First Professional Doctoral Committee Report

Task Force Recommendations

Based on the subcommittee reports, the Graduate School Task Force has created a draft of high-priority recommendations to share with the University community.  

Task Force Recommendations Open Forum

The Graduate and Professional School held an Open Forum on March 23, 2021, to share high priority recommendations with the University community and offer attendees a chance to provide input on the future of Graduate and Professional education at Texas A&M. At the Open Forum, the Graduate and Professional School presented an overview of the Graduate School Task Force and its recommendations, then participants entered breakout rooms facilitated by Task Force members to share their ideas. 


Task Force Final Report

After gathering and incorporating input from stakeholders at the Open Forum, the Task Force finalized its second--and final--report and issued the seven high-priority recommendations listed below:

  1. Enhance recruitment/retention and funding;
  2. Access to professional development and specific recommendations for professional development;
  3. Coordinate resources and expand resource access;
  4. Branch campus issues and the value of professional programs;
  5. Concern for bureaucracy, excitement for change, and specific administrative issues;
  6. Communication and marketing/branding;
  7. Building community and setting expectations.




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