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Texas A&M to Review Controversial Qatar Campus Proposal

December 20, 2021

Texas A&M University announced plans last week for a committee charged with reviewing a controversial proposal to reorganize the arts and sciences programs at the Qatar campus and relegate arts and science faculty to second-class status relative to engineering faculty.

Faculty had raised alarms that the proposal—which had a proposed effective date of Jan. 1—had been developed without faculty input, in violation of the university’s policies. Timothy P. Scott, Texas A&M’s interim provost, said during a Faculty Senate meeting last week that administrators “tapped on the brakes and said nothing is going forward in January” and would set up a committee to review the proposal.

In a subsequent message to Texas A&M Qatar faculty members, Scott said the committee would include a mix of faculty and administrators, including six Texas A&M at Qatar faculty representatives—one each from the liberal arts, science and engineering programs chosen from nominees voted on by the faculty, and one each from liberal arts, science and engineering programs appointed by the provost’s office.

Scott wrote that the committee would begin meeting in January to “evaluate the potential impact of the reorganization proposal and recommend changes to the plan and timeline.” He wrote the committee would also be charged with considering “key performance indicators” included in the most recent contract between Texas A&M and the Qatar Foundation, which funds the Qatar campus.

Scott wrote that he hopes the committee can complete its work before the end of the spring term. He added, “No administrative or faculty changes will be implemented until the committee can convene and provide recommendations informed by your feedback.”

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