COLLEGE STATION – Veteran public servant John Sharp was formally named chancellor of The Texas A&M University System following the state-mandated 21-day waiting period by the Board of Regents today during a special telephonic meeting. Sharp was named the sole finalist for the position Aug. 15.
“I am truly honored and humbled to have the opportunity to lead this great university system,” said Sharp, a 1972 graduate of Texas A&M University, the A&M System’s flagship institution. “This is truly a dream come true—not only to get back into public service, where I feel I truly belong, but to be a part of a higher education system that has made such a difference in my life.”
As chancellor, Sharp will lead the 19-member system, which has an annual budget of $3.3 billion and externally funded research expenditures in excess of $772 million. Enrollment at the A&M System’s 11 universities and health science center has swelled to more than 120,000, and Texas A&M continues to be ranked among the top 20 research universities in the nation.
“This system is so diverse in its ability to not only educate, but to help people in their daily lives, whether they realize it or not,” Sharp said. “In addition to our universities, the agencies are also doing amazing research and outreach, and I want to help spread the word about all that we do.”
Sharp comes to the A&M System from Ryan & Company, where he was a principal with the largest state and local tax consulting firm of its kind in Texas. A native of Placedo, Texas, Sharp has more than three decades of public service to his credit, during which he has served in the Texas Senate and Texas House of Representatives, as Texas Railroad Commissioner and as Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts.
“John not only brings a wealth of experience in public service to this position,” said Richard A. Box, chairman of the Board of Regents, “but also a deep enthusiasm and love for his alma mater and this system as a whole. I know he understands and appreciates the potential we have to make this system one of the best in the nation.”
Sharp, 61, served as Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts from 1991-1998, where he received numerous accolades for his focus on government efficiencies. He served in the Texas House from 1979-1983 and the Texas Senate from 1983-1987. He was elected Texas Railroad Commissioner in 1987, where he championed reforms to the state’s trucking regulations and the development of new natural gas markets.
He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science from Texas A&M in 1972 and a master’s degree in public administration from Texas State University (formerly Southwest Texas State University) in 1976. While a student at Texas A&M, Sharp was a member of the Corps staff of the Corps of Cadets and was elected student body president. Upon graduation, he was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the United States Army Reserves.
Sharp and his wife, Charlotte, have two children, Victoria and Spencer. The Sharps are active members of their church and are involved in many community and humanitarian efforts.
About the A&M System
The A&M System is one of the largest systems of higher education in the nation, with a budget of $3.3 billion. Through a statewide network of 11 universities, seven state agencies and a comprehensive health science center, the A&M System educates more than 120,000 students and makes more than 22 million additional educational contacts through service and outreach programs each year. Externally funded research expenditures exceed $772 million and help drive the state’s economy.