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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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One step away
June 8, 2024

Editorial: A&M presidency finalist an ambitious, forward-thinking choice

Provided+by+the+University+of+Washington
Provided by the University of Washington

Few Aggies have heard of Michael K. Young, the Washington president who got the nod Tuesday as the finalist for the A&M presidency. No one yet knows how he will work or interact with the unique fiber of Texas A&M — its traditions, the Kyle Field pageantry, the student body.
And that’s a good thing.
There might, for instance, be more certainty in a choice like former Gov. Rick Perry, who became the popular conversational name in a search characterized by its silence. No names leaked, so Aggies defaulted to Perry — ironically, in some contexts.
Aggies are comfortable with Perry. They’re comfortable, also, with interim president Mark Hussey, pulled from his post as dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences to man the presidency since it opened in 2013 with the departure of R. Bowen Loftin. Loftin is famous for his involvement — and subsequent marketing of — the “100-year decision” to move to the SEC.
But Texas A&M in 2015 is different for more than its conference affiliation. This is a campus with big, sweeping goals. Vision 2020, 25 by 25 and the Kyle Field redevelopment are each ambitious in their own right (overly so, it could be argued), but they’re symptoms of a university itching to step deeper into the national dialog.
A&M has been, at times, an institution prone to hiring from within. That’s not always a bad thing. But it can make “national searches” feel like a formality and keep the best national leadership from considering College Station.
With Michael Young, the Board of Regents blew past the comfortable picks and found a man with bulletproof credentials. Whether Young is good for A&M will be answered by time. But the process and thinking that led to his selection is a welcome sign.
The Editorial Board is composed of editor-in-chief Mark Doré, managing editor Aimée Breaux and assistant managing editor Jennifer Reiley.

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