Mark Welsh named sole finalist for Texas A&M University President

Mark A. Welsh III,  Interim President of Texas A&M University.
Mark A. Welsh III, Interim President of Texas A&M University.(KBTX)
Published: Nov. 17, 2023 at 12:05 PM CST
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COLLEGE STATION, Texas (KBTX) - Mark Welsh III, Texas A&M Interim President, has been named the sole finalist in a search for the University System’s permanent president.

A special meeting was called Friday by the Texas A&M Board of Regents. The meeting was in executive session for a little more than an hour-and-a-half. It was then revealed that Chancellor John Sharp recommended Welsh as sole finalist.

It was moved and approved. No further action will be taken for 21 days. That is the required waiting period between the time a sole finalist is selected and can be officially appointed.

After the Board’s action Friday, Welsh released the following statement:

“Serving as interim president for the last several months has been an incredible privilege, and I’m truly honored to be named as the sole finalist for President of Texas A&M University. I love this university and everything it represents, and I’m grateful to the Board of Regents and Chancellor Sharp for their confidence in me. While I’m excited by the possibility of leading this remarkable institution in a more permanent capacity, I value the comprehensive decision-making process that will occur over the next few weeks.”

Mark A. Welsh III

Sharp named Welsh Acting President in late July after former President Kathy Banks, who had served as president for two years, resigned amid fallout from the bungled hiring of journalism professor Kathleen McElroy.

In October, Welsh announced multiple studies and initiatives on campus will be spearheaded by A&M faculty and experts. This, rather than hiring outside consultants.

Welsh has also addressed a variety of concerns of members of the Faculty Senate. Earlier this week, leaders stated their support for Welsh to slide into the position permanently, citing stability for the university. While others said he may be the best pick, but they would like to see a nationwide search completed before the appointment is made.

Ultimately, the senate agreed to create a recommendation if Welsh was named Friday, and include their desire for searches in the future.

In 2016 Mark Welsh was working as the Chief of Staff for the United States Airforce when he got a call from former president George H.W. Bush to serve as the new Dean of the Bush School. His service as dean followed a four-decade career in the U.S. Air Force, where he was a fighter pilot, a four-star general and Chief of Staff of the Air Force.

Seven years later, Welsh is now the sole finalist to become President of Texas A&M University.

Additionally, Welsh commanded the U.S. Air Forces in Europe and NATO’s Air Command at Ramstein Air Base in Germany. And he served as associate director of military affairs at the Central Intelligence Agency as well as commandant of the United States Air Force Academy.