Texas A&M University is launching a new College of Arts and Sciences and a new School of Performance, Visualization and Fine Arts, while designating seven colleges as schools. These changes reflect recommendations approved in December by President M. Katherine Banks in the way forward.
These units have begun the process of transitioning to their new brand identities to prepare for the September 1 effective date. A rebranding for academic realignment began this summer, allowing students to be welcomed into their new academic home before the start of the fall semester on August 24. Students graduating in August will do so under their current academic designations.
The College of Arts and Sciences combines three current colleges of geosciences, liberal arts and sciences, as well as undergraduate studies and the undergraduate program in biomedical sciences of the current College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences .
The Way Forward outlines how the merger allows the College of Arts and Sciences to better align with most of its peer institutions: 12 out of 19 use this model. This broader collegiate structure creates a stronger case for liberal arts education in a STEM-focused university, according to the MGT report, which informed Path Forward.
The realignment allows for a focus on four areas: College of Arts and Sciences, College of Engineering, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, and Texas A&M Health.
The School of Performance, Visualization and Fine Arts consolidates three existing programs under an expanded scope of fine arts: Performance Studies (currently a department of the College of Liberal Arts) , dance science (currently a track in the Bachelor of Science program in the Department of Health and Kinesiology in the College of Education and Human Development), and visualization (currently a department in the College of Architecture).
Additionally, seven current colleges will be designated as schools to better reflect their unique and applied missions. These include the School of Architecture, School of Dentistry, School of Education and Human Development, School of Medicine, School of Nursing, ‘Irma Lerma Rangel School of Pharmacy and the School of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences.
These organizational changes were approved by President Banks in December, along with more than 40 other recommendations. Each initiative had its own working group—committees made up of faculty, staff, and students—to determine how best to implement the changes.