On the athletic field, Texas A&M and The University of Texas have a long history of fierce rivalry, but recently, the two systems have been presenting a united front.
UT System Chancellor Francisco Cigarroa and Texas A&M System Chancellor John Sharp shared the stage at two events this week: Texas Monthly’s “Broadening the Pathway to Higher Education in Texas” in San Antonio Tuesday night and the Texas Tribune’s “A Conversation with Cigarroa and Sharp” in Austin Thursday morning.
At both events, Chancellor Cigarroa and Chancellor Sharp talked about their systems’ efforts to do more with fewer financial resources, focus on faculty retention, lower student debt and implement innovative measures to improve learning.
"We have a profound responsibility of educating a huge pipeline of students whose future is going to be dependent on a solid foundation in education."
Together, the two systems educate 340,000 students and employ 105,000 faculty and staff members.
“We have a profound responsibility of educating a huge pipeline of students whose future is going to be dependent on a solid foundation in education,” Chancellor Cigarroa said.
“The University of Texas and Texas A&M systems do it better than anyone,” he added. “That’s why Texas is going to be a shining star in this country – because of these two great systems.”
To maintain economic success, Texas must successfully shift its dependence from natural resources to human resources, Chancellor Sharp said, noting that Texas has more 18 to 21-year-olds than any other state.
By educating them, “we will create the biggest economic boon this state has ever seen,” he said. “These two universities are the bellwether for what happens in Texas. We can not fail.”
The Texas Monthly event, which was held at Texas A&M San Antonio, also featured Gene Powell, UT System Board of Regents chairman; Phil Adams, Texas A&M Board of Regents vice chairman; Maria Hernandez Ferrier, Texas A&M San Antonio president; John Frederick, UT San Antonio provost and vice president for academic affairs; and David Gardner, Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board deputy commissioner
Chairman Powell said the initiatives of the two university systems are unmatched anywhere in the country.
“This is an unbeatable team,” Powell said. “Texas is on the path to greatness.”