Graduate School Formation
Graduate School Formation
In January of 2021, the Graduate and Professional School was formed from the Office of Graduate and Professional Studies.
Establishing a Graduate and Professional School
The transition from Office of Graduate and Professional Studies to Graduate and Professional School represents an effort to fulfill an institutional strategic goal of strengthening graduate education at Texas A&M University, thereby raising 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 of input from independent research firms and graduate education stakeholders.
To gather input from university stakeholders on a shift to a graduate school, OGAPS convened a task force consisting of faculty, staff, graduate students, and administrators.
Elevating Graduate Education at Texas A&M
The Graduate and Professional School believes that the transition will support the graduate education at Texas A&M in the following ways:
- 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.
- Improve efforts to increase diversity.
Vision 2020 identified the value of graduate education in achieving the university’s aspirational goals; in particular, it will support Imperative 2: Strengthen Our Graduate Programs.
The Graduate Experiences Task Force, convened in 2009, identified three areas for improvement:
- Quality of Life
- Compensations and Benefits
- Professional Development.
In 2018-2019, OGAPS performed benchmarking analyses of peer institutions and research on graduate unit organizations and structures, as well as visiting graduate units at three upstanding institutions.
REQUEST TO ESTABLISH A GRADUATE SCHOOL
Building on the aforementioned information and input, as well as feedback from the TAMU 2020-2025 Strategic Plan discussions, in December 2019, Associate Provost Dr. Karen Butler- Purry requested to shift the Office of Graduate and Professional Studies to a Graduate School model.
Task Force Creation
To gather input from university stakeholders on a shift to a graduate school, OGAPS convened a task force consisting of faculty, staff, graduate students and administrators.
TASK FORCE Membership
Graduate School Task Force Executive Committee Member List
|Karen Butler-Purry||Associate Provost||OGAPS|
|George Cunningham||Senior Assistant Provost||OGAPS|
|Gerianne Alexander||Associate Vice President||Division of Research|
|Anne Reber||Dean of Student Life||Division of Student Affairs|
|Joe Pettibon||Vice President||Division of Enrollment & Academic Services|
|Jocelyn Widmer||Assistant Provost||Academic Innovation & Online Education|
Associate Vice President and Head
Graduate School Task Force Member List
|Associate Dean & Professor||Liberal Arts||GOC|
|Mark Zoran||Associate Dean & Professor||Science||GOC|
|Antoinetta Quigg||Associate Vice President & Head||TAMUG||URC|
|Michelle Mitchell||Assistant Deal of Finance||Engineering||ABOC|
|Ivan Rusyn||Professor||Vet Med||IDP Chair|
|Julie Harlin||Associate Professor||Ag & Life Science||Faculty|
|Jay Ramadoss||Associate Professor||Vet Med||Faculty|
|Paul Hernadez||Associate Professor||Ed & Human Dev||Faculty|
|Idia Thurston||Associate Professor||Liberal Arts; Public Health||Faculty|
|Ashley Ross||Assistant Professor||TAMUG||Faculty|
|Narendra Kumar||Associate Professor||Pharmacy||Faculty|
|Dennis Gorman||Professor||Public Health||Faculty|
|Stacy Drake||Associate Professor||Nursing||Faculty|
|Hope Rising||Assistant Professor||Architecture||Faculty|
|Richard Malak||Associate Professor||Engineering||Faculty|
|Larry Bellinger||Associate Dean & Professor||Dentistry||Faculty|
|David Threadgill||Distinguished Professor||Medicine||Faculty|
|Lori Taylor||Professor & Head||Bush Sch of Gov||Dept Head & Grad Prog Dir|
|Charlotte Ku||Associate Dean & Professor||Law||Grad Prog Dir|
|Hagen Kim||Associate Professor||Mays Business||Grad Prog Dir|
|Istvan Szunyough||Professor||Geoscience||Grad Prog Dir|
|Wayne Smith||Associate Dept Head & Professor||Ag Life||Grad Prog Dir|
|Ashley Seabury||Program Manager||Vet Med & Biomed Sci||Staff|
|Kara Bond||Academic Advisor III||Education||Staff|
|Purna Doddapaneni||GPSG President||Engineering||Graduate Students|
|Chante Anderson||BGSA President||Liberal Arts||Graduate Students|
|Smit Prashant Mehta||IGSA Officer||Engineering||Graduate Students|
|Misha Charkraborty||Post Doc||OGAPS|
TASK FORCE CHARGE
During the 2020 spring semester, the task force focused on gathering input from stakeholders [e.g. faculty senate, council of deans, GOC Deans, URC Deans, graduate students, CPI, etc.] on the establishment and possible scope of a Graduate School.
Phase I Timeline
|February 26, 2020||Task Force Meeting #1|
|March 17, 2020|
Presentation made to Graduate & Professional Student Government (GPSG) Senate
|April 1, 2020||Presentation made to Council of Deans (COD)|
|April 7, 2020||Presentation made to Department Head Steering Committee|
|April 8, 2020||Presentation made to Council of Principal Investigators (CPI)|
|May 4, 2020|
Presentation made to the Graduate Operations Committee (GOC) Deans
|May 13, 2020||Presentation made to the University Research Council (URC) Deans|
|June 15, 2020||Presentation made to the Faculty Senate|
|June 22, 2020||Task Force Meeting #2|
|July 2020||Associate Provost submits Task Force Report #1 to Provost Fierke|
|September 2020||Task Force Reconvenes|
Conclusions and Future Charge
Based on this collective feedback from the university community, the Graduate School Task Force offered the following conclusions on the establishment of a Graduate School:
- Texas A&M would benefit from the Office of Graduate and Professional Studies transforming to a Graduate School model.
- The name of “Graduate and Professional School” for the graduate school would more appropriately reflect the diversity of graduate and professional programs at Texas A&M.
- A change to a Graduate School should be made consistent with guiding principles proposed by the task force, including an appreciation of the disciplinary diversity among the graduate and professional programs on campus.
- The funding is in place to implement each of the changes identified in the report.
TASK FORCE CHARGE
The task force continued into the 2020-2021 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.
To accomplish this charge, the Task Force formed three subcommittees, focusing on master’s, doctoral, and first professional doctoral programs, respectively.
Each subcommittee was instructed to:
- Review current practices and programs related to the 2020-2025 Strategic Plan, with specific focus on graduate and professional education strategic priorities; form recommendations to move the institution towards becoming a globally-recognized leader in graduate and professional education
- Gather input from faculty, staff, administrators and students;
- Provide recommendations, including role of Graduate and Professional school and other university-level units.
Phase II Timeline
|October 2020||Subcommittees convene|
Subcommittees host open forums to gather input
|Februar 1, 2021||Subcommitte Recommendations Submitted|
|March 8, 2021||Task Force meeting to discuss subcommittee reports|
|March 23, 2021||Subcommittee reports presented at Open Forum|
|April 21, 2021|
Final Task Force recommendations submitted to Provost
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.
The three subcommittees compiled reports based on input from subcommittee members and the campus community.
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
Following the Open Forum, the Graduate School issued its final report, including the specific priorities intended to guide the collaborative effort of the Graduate and Professional School, academic programs, departments, colleges, and university offices to make meaningful, positive change in graduate and professional education at Texas A&M.