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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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Young opens dialogue at town hall

Michael+K.+Young+is+the+25th+president+of+Texas+A%26amp%3BM+University+and+has+been+serving+since+May+1%2C+2015.%26%23160%3B
Photo by Photo by Annie Lui

Michael K. Young is the 25th president of Texas A&M University and has been serving since May 1, 2015. 

Looking to address questions from Texas A&M’s faculty and staff, University President Michael Young took part in a town hall hosted by the University Staff Council.
Young answered questions provided by the council before opening the floor to audience members.
Young opened the town hall with recent statistics and rankings that have put A&M ahead of other colleges and universities. A&M has been named “Best value college in Texas” by U.S News and World Report, and 90 percent of students surveyed said they were very satisfied or extremely satisfied with their education after graduating. Young said A&M’s staff has played a key role in achieving this status.
“It’s a reflection of the kind of community that you help them create on this campus,” Young said. “When I’m out and about talking to people, it is as likely they’re telling me a story of a staff member who’s important to their education as it is a professor.”
Young said transformational learning is a major focus as A&M looks to move beyond traditional lecture-based methods and help students do more with their time in college. Transformational learning includes capstone projects and research projects with professors. 
“We want to create students who have their own analytical capacity who can discover facts for themselves,” Young said. “Last year, the graduating class, we calculated that 80 percent of students had at least two of those types of experiences. By 2020, it will be 100 percent that will have at least two experiences.”
Young said the university is also exploring options to provide more opportunities for distance learning and aiming to raise freshman and sophomore retention rates from 93 percent to 95 percent.
Young said the university is looking to improve staff initiatives and benefits, and the current merit-based system of salary increases will most likely remain in place.
“A one percent across the board salary increase is essentially $15 million,” Young said. “But we do want to encourage a merit -based culture here. It is likely to continue.”

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