Regents to vote on merger
Published: Thursday, August 2, 2012
Updated: Thursday, August 2, 2012 12:08
The Texas A&M Health Science Center, currently a Texas A&M System entity, could merge with Texas A&M University, increasing the University’s research stature.
The System Board of Regents is scheduled to vote on merging the two institutions at its Thursday and Friday meeting.
System Vice Chancellor for Marketing and Communications Steven Moore said HSC research dollars will now come under the Texas A&M University umbrella, adding to the total research conducted by the University.
Moore said A&M could be pushing $1 billion in applied research expenditures, merging HSC research dollars with research efforts already in place at A&M.
The increase of funds to A&M would improve the University’s national rankings in research expenditures as a tier-one research institute. However, Moore said because time is an element, no immediate effect will be seen.
Linking the two institutions is expected to further interdisciplinary research possibilities.
“Engineering, science and medicine are all converging now … having it all under one umbrella makes it all that much easier to do and much easier to coordinate,” Moore said.
If the regents approve the merger at this week’s board meeting, the combination of the two schools could create redundancies in staff members. Moore said at this point, the chancellor’s office doesn’t know whether there will be cuts to staff positions.
It is planned that a joint committee — between University President R. Bowen Loftin and HSC President Nancy Dickey — will be established to oversee any such issues.
“The expectation is that [cuts] would be minimal,” Moore said.
The HSC, which currently carries “Texas A&M” in its title, includes the Baylor College of Dentistry as one of its six units.
Moore said the only part of the Baylor College of Dentistry that isn’t already part of the A&M System is the name. The College belonged to Baylor University in 1918 until the state of Texas took over in 1971. It became part of the A&M System in 1996.
“We have proposed a new brand nomenclature to Baylor and await their response,” Moore said.
For A&M to have exclusive branding rights, a buy out would not be necessary, because the A&M System already operates the HSC.
There are six schools in Texas that make up the HSC, including the Baylor College of Dentistry at Dallas, College of Medicine at Bryan and Round Rock, College of Nursing at Bryan and Round Rock, Rangel College of Pharmacy at Kingsville, School of Graduate Studies at College Station and Houston, and School of Rural Public Health at College Station.