At a meeting on Friday, the Texas A&M University System Board of Regents gave the go-ahead to move the system's Texas A&M Health Science Center under the administration of Texas A&M University.
A&M System Chancellor John Sharp told the Tribune on Thursday that such a move would be a boon to the university because it would foster collaboration with health science center researchers and boost A&M's numbers when it comes to research expenditures.
R. Bowen Loftin, the president of Texas A&M University, said the change would also have perks for students at the health science center, many of whom already attend classes and participate in activities at A&M. "Now, health professions students across all Texas A&M campuses will soon be able to receive an Aggie Ring and other benefits afforded to the Texas A&M student body," he said in a statement.
The regents' approval is not the final step in the realignment process. The matter will now will be considered by a strategic oversight committee led by Loftin and Nancy Dickey, president of the health science center and vice chancellor for health affairs for the system. The change must also be worked out with key regulatory and accrediting bodies, including the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
A&M is not the only major university in Texas looking to acquire such an institution. Its longtime rival, the University of Texas at Austin, along with state Sen. Kirk Watson, D-Austin, are making a major push for a new medical school in Austin that would similarly be under the administration of UT, as opposed to the University of Texas System.