Texas A&M University-Commerce President Dr. Ray Keck that he'll be stepping down from his office on Aug. 31. Keck will remain at the university as faculty, he said. A new university president is expected to begin work on Sept. 1.
"This morning at Spring Assembly, I shared my intention to step down from my role as President of this great University," Keck said in a statement. "Our beloved University now needs its ten-year leader. This is not a move toward retirement. In August of this year, I will begin development leave, at the end of which I will join the faculty here at Commerce. Patricia and I have no desire to separate ourselves from this community which has so graciously and warmly received us. "
Keck's statement for the Texas A&M University System's news release is as follows:
University President offers both the most rewarding and most challenging job imaginable. To have served as a president in The Texas A&M University System for almost seventeen years and in two universities has been for me, and for Patricia beside me, the high point of our professional lives. Laredo is our home, its University and people always with us. Texas A&M University-Commerce---faculty, students, staff, and alumni---opened hearts and lives to us, and we now feel deeply embedded in East Texas. We are grateful to Chancellor Sharp for the opportunity to be reborn amid the extraordinary talent and devotion which drives A&M-Commerce. We cannot imagine our lives now apart from those we have come to know and love in Hunt County. It is time to redirect passion and energy, to return to teaching and to continue to assist, in every helpful way, a new leader for A&M Commerce. Go Lions!
Keck has served as university president since June 2016. From 2001 until 2016, Keck was president of Texas A&M International University in Laredo. Under Keck’s leadership, enrollment at Texas A&M International University more than doubled, and it now serves a higher percentage Hispanic population than any college or university in the United States.
He holds a doctorate in Romance Languages and Literature from Princeton University and has studied at Harvard Divinity School, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Centro de Estudios Hispánicos en Madrid (Bryn Mawr College), and the Deutsche Somerschule am Atlantik.
Dr. Keck is also an accomplished organist, with a specialty in J.S. Bach. He has performed as a guest artist across the State and nation and on numerous occasions with the Laredo Philharmonic Orchestra.
He is married to the former Patricia Cigarroa.