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President Young announces retirement from Texas A&M, will return to teaching

Young wrote a letter and posted it to the university's website. A press conference is scheduled for Wednesday.

COLLEGE STATION, Texas — Texas A&M President Michael Young announced Wednesday he will retire at the end of the 2020-2021 school year. Young wrote a letter to Aggies and it was posted to the university's website.

Young said he will continue to serve as a faculty member for the Bush School of Government and Public Service as well as the TAMU School of Law. He will also be taking over as director of the Institute for Religious Liberties and International Affairs.

"I will continue to focus on the priorities at hand, preserving our core educational missions and ensuring that we are well situated to continue our extraordinary progress as a world-class educational institution," he wrote in the statement.

Young was president and a professor of law at the University in Washington when Chancellor Sharp named him as president of Texas A&M. He previously worked as a Columbia University professor for more than 20 years.

“I thank Mike Young for his tremendous service to Texas A&M," Chancellor Sharp said Wednesday. "When we recruited him, we wanted him to help Texas A&M become the best public university in the country and we have made great strides in doing so under his leadership, some examples of which are attached. We appreciate his service and look forward to recognizing his achievements in the months to come.”

Talks between Young and the board of regents has been ongoing. He expressed a desire to get back to teaching, according to the board, and a search committee began to be formed months ago.

“President Young has been a transformational leader, contributing to a rise in Texas A&M’s national and international reputation as a global tier one research institution while meeting the growing needs of the citizens of Texas," said Chairman Elaine Mendoza of the TAMU System Board of Regents. "Of particular note is his work toward student retention, helping those who come to Texas A&M succeed in fulfilling Texas A&M’s mission to graduate leaders who selflessly serve.”

His retirement will be effective May 31, 2021.

Here is the full letter President Young posted Wednesday: 

Dear Aggies,

As we continue to navigate the start of the academic year toward what I am hopeful will be a great semester followed by a beautiful springtime in Aggieland, I wanted to let you know that I have notified Chancellor Sharp that I plan to retire as president, effective May 31, 2021. Marti and I have been discussing this for more than a year. We concluded that, after almost a quarter century of serving in senior academic leadership roles and an increasing desire to turn back to topics that occupied much of my previous career, this would be our last year.

In the meantime, I will continue to focus on the priorities at hand, preserving our core educational missions and ensuring that we are well situated to continue our extraordinary progress as a world-class educational institution.

In this academic year we face unusual challenges.  Yet we will continue to provide transformational learning opportunities for all our students, as well as produce remarkable discoveries that improve the lives of the people of Texas and our country.

My charge upon arrival in 2015 was to help create a trajectory that would give Texas A&M an international reputation while remembering our core mission as a land grant institution. I am pleased with the significant rise in rankings, the noteworthy expansion of research, our remarkable success in the ambitious $4 billion Lead by Example fundraising campaign, and most of all, the privilege of working every day with our exceptional students and our dauntless faculty and staff.

I remember meeting students on my first visit to Texas A&M before accepting the position. While the students were not aware of the nature of my visit, their core values of respect, leadership, excellence, loyalty, integrity and selfless service shined through. I knew what a wonderful opportunity it would be to serve them. I look forward to joining the faculty of the Bush School of Government and Public Service and the Texas A&M School of Law for that same reason.


Michael K. Young