FEATURED: John Sharp, Chancellor, Texas A&M University System, was honored on Tuesday, September 6, 2021 on the 10th anniversary of being chosen by the Board of Regents as the top administrative leader of one of the largest higher education organizations in the United States, with a budget of $7.2 billion.
Photograph Courtesy TEXAS A&M SYSTEM FACEBOOK
Texas A&M System’s television show, hosted by Chancellor John Sharp, expands to more markets
By LAYLAN COPELIN
Chancellor John Sharp of The Texas A&M University System has returned to living rooms all around the state.
Around Texas with Chancellor John Sharp is appearing in 18 media markets across Texas (and one in Louisiana) as Season Three of the show began in October 2022, A&M System officials announced on Tuesday, October 4, 2022.
Last year, the show aired in eight Texas markets.
In the Rio Grande Valley, viewers can tune into KVEO-TV, where one episode airs on Sunday from 10:30 p.m. to 11 p.m.
Texas A&M System’s presence in the Rio Grande Valley most recently grew on Thursday, October 25, 2018 when Sharp helped dedicate the $40 million Texas A&M McAllen Higher Education Center at McAllen. School officials said the endeavor marks a lasting commitment to the people of South Texas that will provide unique educational opportunities for generations to come.
The dedication ceremony completed the two-year construction process for the 65,000-square-foot facility which features state-of-the-art labs, classrooms and collaborative work and learning spaces. A large auditorium and full complement of parking, connecting roads, green space and a separate engineering technology lab facility rounded out the project, which Texas A&M officials announced as “on time and under budget.”
The City of McAllen provided the 100-acre tract as a ground lease to the A&M System, and the City of McAllen and Hidalgo County facilitated local financing of $10 million toward the $40 million construction cost as well as $24 million in infrastructure (streets, utilities and drainage) that will benefit the higher education center.
The opening episode for Around Texas with Chancellor John Sharp for its third season isscheduled to be featured on KVEO-TV on Sunday, October 30, 2022, and “is full of stories of inspiration and bravery,” Sharp announced on Thursday, October 27, 2022.
“In one of the segments, we will feature a fearless graduate from the Bush School of Government & Public Service,” the chancellor said. “Metra Mehran was marked for death by the Taliban in her home courtly of Afghanistan, but a group of freeness from Texas A&M, various intelligence agencies and the armed forces worked together to get her safely to the U.S.”
Sharp added the show will also feature a Texas A&M summer camp that is designed specifically for adults with disabilities.
For those who miss the shows – or for all previous episodes – they are accessible online at:
“The more we can share our stories about the cool people and interesting initiatives of the Texas A&M System, the better,” Sharp said. “It is a real privilege to showcase how much the Texas A&M System contributes to our great state.”
Each episode in the 12-show season includes two segments and two in-studio interviews with the chancellor and a guest.
This season includes stories about:
• Robert Earl Keen, who graduated from Texas A&M in 1978.
Robert Earl Keen (born January 11, 1956) is an American singer-songwriter and entertainer. Debuting with 1984’s No Kinda Dancer, the Houston native has recorded 20 full-length albums for both independent and major record labels.
Although both his albums and his live performances span many different styles, from folk, country, and bluegrass to rock, he is most commonly affiliated with roots music. Keen has toured extensively both in the US and abroad throughout his career.
• A sea turtle rescue program;
• A dance instructor from Texas A&M-Corpus Christi who had to re-learn how to walk and how to teach dance after an accident in the surf;
• A former NASA scientist who is now teaching students about robots; and
• The challenges of being on the front lines of wildfires.
Sharp brings with him more than three decades of public service. He earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from Texas A&M University in 1972, where he was a member of the Corps staff of the Corps of Cadets, a member of the 1972 rugby team and was elected student body president.
Upon graduation, Sharp was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the United States Army Reserve.
In 1976, Sharp received a master’s degree in public administration from Southwest Texas State University while working full-time with the Legislative Budget Board in Austin.
In 1978, he opened a one-man real estate firm in Victoria and became a successful small business owner. That same year he was elected to the Texas House of Representatives.
In 1982, he won a seat in the Texas Senate, and four years later, he was elected to the Texas Railroad Commission. He also was elected state comptroller in 1990 and re-elected in 1994.
ABOUT THE TEXAS A&M SYSTEM
The Texas A&M University System is one of the largest systems of higher education in the nation, with a budget of $7.2 billion.
Through a statewide network of 11 universities, a comprehensive health science center, eight state agencies, and the RELLIS Campus, the Texas A&M System educates more than 152,000 students and makes more than 24 million additional educational contacts through service and outreach programs each year.
System-wide, research and development expenditures exceed $1 billion and help drive the state’s economy.
Texas A&M System adds space in Fort Worth for expansion, following approval earlier in 2022 of $85 million for a Law and Education Building
The members of the Board of Regents of The Texas A&M University System voted Wednesday, August 10, 2022 to expand a lease of 10,630 square feet to make more room for the system’s growing footprint in Fort Worth, to be known as the Urban Campus.
The developments are part of the vision of civic leaders in Fort Worth who were looking for help from a top research university to strengthen the area’s industrial and employment base.
Results from the 2020 Census show Fort Worth has a population of nearly one million residents and is growing faster than any major U.S. city. However, nearly half of the 1.2 million adults in Tarrant County (ages 25 and older) lack a college degree. One in four households has an annual income below $30,000.
The new Texas A&M University System offices will be located in the Burnett Plaza in downtown Fort Worth. Several member institutions will be moving into the lease space this fall. These include Texas A&M AgriLife, Texas Division of Emergency Management, Texas A&M Engineering, the Mays Business School, Tarleton State University, and others.
These Texas A&M System members will be among the first entities to join the Texas A&M University School of Law as part of recently planned expansion into Fort Worth.
The member institutions’ presence marks the realization of the vision to create an urban research campus in downtown Fort Worth, which has been dubbed “Aggieland North.”
Earlier this year, the regents approved $85 million for a Law and Education Building and another $85 million for a Research and Innovation Center in Fort Worth.
The new law school will serve as the front door and academic anchor of the urban campus in Fort Worth.
The current law school is housed in the former Southwestern Bell call switching facility that was converted for office use. The school also uses leased space in a nearby building.
The plan envisions renovating or rebuilding the law school to accommodate growth and provide a state-of-the art educational environment.
Since the A&M System acquired the law school eight years ago, it has experienced the largest jump to its reputational score of any law school in the United States. It recently passed its Texas counterparts at Baylor University and the University of Houston in the latest U.S. News & World Report rankings.
The campus will be built on several blocks adjacent to the existing School of Law building, which is scheduled to be replaced as part of the campus expansion. The cost of the Law and Education Building, which is scheduled to begin construction in 2023, will be paid with proceeds from the Permanent University Fund. The Research and Innovation Center is expected to be built at approximately the same time.
“We just couldn’t wait,” John Sharp, Chancellor, Texas A&M System, said. “Our expansion into the nation’s fastest-growing large city is a game-changer for the A&M System, the city of Fort Worth and the entire North Texas region, and we want to get going as soon as possible.”
The system has already rented space in the Burnett Plaza, located at 801 Cherry Street in Fort Worth, but Wednesday’s action by the regents allows expansion of the lease to give the System plenty of room to grow.
“We are eager to grow the system’s presence in Fort Worth,” said Kim McCuistion, Associate Vice Chancellor and Inaugural Director for the research and academic campus. “We have a lot of exciting work ahead, and the sooner we can get started, the better.”
Kevin Starbuck, Assistant chief of Region 1, Texas Division of Emergency Management’s, is leading his team in the new space as soon as it is ready. TDEM’s people in the area are spread out in different locations, but they will come together in the leased space as they await construction of the permanent facilities.
Under Starbuck, TDEM personnel will work on issues such as mitigation, recovery and preparedness. Region 1, which covers 42 counties from North Central Texas to the Piney Woods of East Texas, will focus largely on flooding, tornadoes, wildfires, drought and homeland security-related issues.
Joining TDEM, Texas A&M AgriLife’s Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Evidence Center also will be one of first tenants in the leased space.
The new center will become a leading source for objective scientific evidence on agriculture, environment, natural resources and nutrition. The work of the team will help policymakers reach science-informed solutions for addressing malnutrition and diet-related chronic disease in a way that considers the environment and economy.
For more on this and other Texas legislative news stories that affect the Rio Grande Valley metropolitan region, please log on to Titans of the Texas Legislature (TitansoftheTexasLegislature.com).