COLLEGE STATION, Texas (FOX 26) - Dr. George Wright has announced that he is stepping down as Prairie View A&M University president and will return to teaching history full-time one an interim president is named.
“I have served this University and the Texas A&M System for 14 years, and I am proud of the progress that we have made in that time,” said Dr. Wright. “But for all of us, the time comes to lay down the responsibilities that go with a job like this one and focus on other things.”
Dr. Wright had continued to serve as a professor and conduct research while serving as president, but he expressed a desire to devote his time to teaching.
“I want to thank President Wright for his steadfast leadership,” said Texas A&M System chancellor John Sharp. “He touched a generation of students and faculty, and he changed lives for the better. He is to be commended, and we will miss him greatly.”
During Wright’s tenure as president, Prairie View A&M University enrollment increased from 6,500 to 9,000 and began to offer doctorate programs in education, engineering, nursing practice and juvenile justice. Both the Confucius Institute and the Honors College were also established under Wright’s leadership.
The School of Architecture building, the Don K. Clark Building, the Electrical Engineering building, the College of Nursing 12-story facility in the Texas Medical Center and new football stadium were all built under Wright's watch.
“I want to thank the Board of Regents of The Texas A&M University System, Chancellor Sharp, and especially, all my many friends and colleagues at this great University and our many alumni for helping make this the best 14 years anyone could ask for,” said Dr. Wright.
The following statement was issued by Dr. Wright:
After giving it a considerable amount of thought and consulting with Chancellor Sharp, I am announcing that I am stepping down as President of Prairie View A&M University as soon as an interim President can be named.
I have served this University and the Texas A&M System for 14 years, and I am proud of the progress that we have made in that time. But for all of us, the time comes to lay down the responsibilities that go with a job like this one and focus on other things. In my case, as most of you know, I have continued to teach and do research while serving as President.
What I plan to do is focus more on my research, which requires more travel and attention than I can give it in my current role.
I have decided that this is a good time because we have just put the last legislative session behind us, and we are at a point where a transition in leadership will have the least disruption on our school.
I want to thank the Board of Regents of The Texas A&M University System, Chancellor Sharp, and especially, all my many friends and colleagues at this great University and our many alumni for helping make this the best 14 years anyone could ask for.
Together, we have accomplished much:
- Enrollment has grown from 6,500 to 9,000
- Created Doctorates in Education, Engineering, Nursing Practice, and Juvenile Justice
- Established the degree programs at the Northwest Houston Center
- Created the Honors College
- Established the Confucius Institute
- The Undergraduate Medical Academy exceeds the national average of students accepted into Medical School.
- Prairie View A&M University nominated for five HBCU awards in 2015, including HBCU of the Year, Business Program of the Year and Nursing Program of the Year
- Opening of several state of the art facilities:
- The School of Architecture housed in a three story, 105,000 square-foot building.
- The Don K. Clark Building, home of the College of Juvenile Justice, Psychology and Texas Crime Prevention Center.
- The Electrical Engineering Building.
- The College of Nursing’s leading edge 12-story nursing educational facility, located in the Texas Medical Center in Houston.
- And, of course, a new football stadium.
You have made this a special job, at a special time, in a special place, and I will always be near and have you all in my heart.
Continue to do the outstanding work you have been doing, and I will watch with interest how the University proceeds in the coming years.