Texas A&M University is in the process of launching a new College of Arts and Sciences and a new School of Performance, Visualization & Fine Arts, while designating seven colleges as schools. These changes reflect recommendations approved in December by President M. Katherine Banks in the Path Forward.
These units have initiated the process of transitioning to their new brand identities to prepare for the Sept. 1 effective date. New branding for the academic realignment started this summer, allowing students to be welcomed into their new academic home prior to the start of the fall semester on Aug. 24. Students who graduate in August will do so under their current academic designations.
The College of Arts and Sciences brings together three current colleges of Geosciences, Liberal Arts and Science, as well as undergraduate studies and the biomedical sciences undergraduate degree program from the current College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences.
The Path Forward outlines how the merger allows the College of Arts and Sciences to better align with most of its peer institutions: 12 of 19 use this model. This larger college structure creates a stronger advocacy for liberal arts education at a STEM-focused university, according to the MGT report, which informed the Path Forward.
The realignment allows for four areas of focus: College of Arts and Sciences, College of Engineering, College Agriculture and Life Sciences, and Texas A&M Health.
The School of Performance, Visualization & Fine Arts brings together three existing programs under an expanded fine arts scope: Performance Studies (currently a department in the College of Liberal Arts), Dance Science (currently a track in the bachelor of science degree program in the Department of Health and Kinesiology in the College of Education & Human Development) and Visualization (currently a department in the College of Architecture).
In addition, seven current colleges will be designated as schools to better reflect their unique, applied missions. These include the School of Architecture, School of Dentistry, School of Education & Human Development, School of Medicine, School of Nursing, Irma Lerma Rangel School of Pharmacy and School of Veterinary Medicine & 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 to best implement the changes.