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Thu August 23, 2007
A&M-Commerce President announces his retirement <BR><I>Click on mp3 to hear the announcement!</i>
By Bill Oliver
Commerce, TX –
The President of Texas A&M University-Commerce has announced his retirement at the end of the 2007-08 academic year.
In an e-mail to University employees, Dr. Keith McFarland stated "With your help, I have had a very pleasant and productive tenure as President. Nancy and I have enjoyed the past nine and one-half years immensely, especially our interactions with so many members of the University and Commerce communities. I can assure you that I will work diligently in the next 11 months to move the University forward. Thanks to each of you for all you have done to make Texas A&M University-Commerce a better place."
Addressing university faculty and staff, Dr. McFarland said he told A&M System Chancellor Dr. Mike McKinney he "would be sprinting to the finish line". Dr. McFarland also said he was blessed to be surrounded by the students, faculty, staff, and supporters of A&M-Commerce. He added at the age of 67 he has accomplished most of what he wanted to do. While leaving the President's position, Dr. McFarland plans to remain in Commerce and teach part-time.
Dr. McFarland came to Commerce in 1969 as Assistant Professor of History. In 1973 he became Assistant Dean in the College of Liberal and Fine Arts, in 1976 Professor and Head of the History Department, and from 1983 through the end of 1997 was Dean of Graduate Studies. Dr. McFarland was interim President for the first nine months of 1998 before being named President and CEO in September 1998.
Dr. McFarland's biography can be found online at http://www.tamu-commerce.edu/administration/president/bio.asp.
Here is the news release from Texas A&M University-Commerce:
Dr. Keith McFarland, the 10th president of Texas A&M University-Commerce, announced his retirement as president and CEO, effective July 31, 2008. The announcement came at the campus' annual fall faculty and staff meeting on Thursday.
McFarland, who has been president and CEO of the university for 10 years, also served in various roles for nearly 38 years as history professor, department head, and dean of the graduate school, prior to becoming president. He submitted his letter of retirement to Dr. Mike McKinney, Chancellor of The Texas A&M University System, saying later that, "This has been more than a job. It has always been a calling, and it couldn't have been done over the years without the support of a great team of faculty, staff, and community members."
"Keith McFarland has brought about significant change during his presidency at A&M-Commerce and has helped establish the university as an example for others to follow," Chancellor McKinney said. "The fact that A&M-Commerce is known for providing relevant education that prepares its graduates for the global workforce is a testimony to Dr. McFarland's commitment to the success of students long after they graduate. A&M-Commerce has been a strong leader in its diversity, academic achievement and its impact on surrounding communities by providing new pathways of learning for first generation teachers and college students."
In announcing his retirement, McFarland said, "I have enjoyed working with students both as a teacher and as an administrator. It has given me a sense of promise for the future to see bright students come to A&M-Commerce, and know that they will make a significant difference in the world.
"The changes we have witnessed, both with the physical campus and programmatically, have far exceeded our wildest dreams. The new science building and planetarium, the recreation center, the student center (under construction), the upcoming music building and concert hall, and next year, the alumni center-along with the demolition of many outdated buildings-have changed the face of this campus forever.
"Twenty new degree programs, implemented in the past nine years, including Mayo College and a new Honors College, continue to attract outstanding students."
McFarland credits the cooperation of the university and partnership with the Commerce community as playing a critical role in unprecedented economic development, which has attracted businesses that have employed students and assisted them in reaching their higher education goals.
"I've also been pleased to see more alumni engaged in this university in the past few years. Their increased involvement and meaningful gifts have allowed us to achieve some new goals and serve more students. The partnership between the university, the alumni association and the foundation has been phenomenal."
McFarland adds that the university will remain the center for learning in the Northeast Texas region for years to come. "Nancy and I consider it a great honor and a pleasure to have been part of such a revolutionary time of change and growth for Texas A&M University-Commerce."
Chancellor McKinney commented that a search committee will be formed, involving the faculty, staff, students, community, the foundation and alumni boards, and others, to select a new president.