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Higher Education
Texas A&M University
News Release
Tuesday, February 21, 2012

COLLEGE STATION — In an effort to support The Texas A&M University System’s ongoing commitment to academic excellence and innovative research, Chancellor John Sharp is collaborating with Texas A&M University to endow the Texas A&M University Institute for Advanced Study. The institute provides a mechanism for attracting world-class talent to the university and is driven by nominations of National Academy and Nobel-prize caliber researchers that align with existing strengths and ambitions of the university.

“This investment in the academic future of Texas A&M University will pay dividends to our students through enhanced educational experiences, and to the state through potential research productivity,” said Sharp. “We hope this will truly be one of those ‘one plus one equals three’ programs that will provide a unique opportunity to bring outstanding faculty and researchers to the Brazos Valley.”

The institute aims to enrich the educational experience and advance research productivity by combining the resources of a major tier-one research institution with distinguished faculty, which will deepen the intellectual climate throughout the state of Texas and beyond. Sharp said that the Institute for Advanced Study is just the beginning of the A&M System’s efforts to ensure that its standards of excellence continue long into the future. He plans to apply this approach throughout the A&M System.

Dr. John L. Junkins, distinguished professor of aerospace engineering at Texas A&M, has been appointed interim director of the institute and Dr. Ed Fry, distinguished professor of physics at Texas A&M, will serve as interim deputy director. The program’s projected cost is $11 million and requires underwriting for a minimum of five years. Sharp has committed the A&M System to an initial $2 million contribution for startup costs, and an additional $1 million per year over the next three years.

“Our vision for building this institute is robust and bold,” Junkins said. “We are extremely grateful to Chancellor Sharp for his solid commitment to the future of Texas A&M University.”

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 $780 million and help drive the state’s economy.

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