Report: A&M may combine chancellor, president; Murano's future uncertain
Wed May 27, 2009 2:20 pm

From today’s story in The Eagle, the newspaper for Bryan-College Station:

Texas A&M University System officials are considering merging the jobs of system chancellor and Texas A&M University president, Chancellor Mike McKinney confirmed Tuesday.

No plans for such a move are in place, McKinney told The Eagle, but he and regents are looking at a variety of ways to cut costs, and combining the two posts is one of many possible solutions.

McKinney said combining the posts would reduce duplication of duties between the system and university.

“I will promise you, one of the things [regents] noticed and they talked about before is that people they have within the system and people within the flagship university appear to be doing the same thing, and sometimes they appear to be doing things in contrast to what their counterparts are doing in the other places,” McKinney said.

“They’re going to look at whether there needs to be some elimination of duplication,” he said. “It’s not just about the chancellor and the president. It’s about the whole organization. Their concern is about wasting taxpayer money.”

Texas A&M President Elsa Murano, like several A&M faculty members and administrators, said she had heard talk about the possible merger.

“I’ve heard those rumors, and they concern me deeply,” Murano said during a brief interview Tuesday afternoon. “I’m working to see if it’s just a rumor. I haven’t talked to Chancellor McKinney, but I plan to.”

To read the complete story, click HERE.

I have heard reports from A&M for several months that Murano may be in trouble but I had no confirmation. Some say that the problems have to do with the circumstances surrounding A&M’s back-door $50 million grant from the governor’s emerging technology fund. I’m skeptical of that. That was a play by chancellor Mike McKinney. I wonder if Perry is clearing the way for McKinney to be president. Yes, chancellor is a bigger job, in theory, but at A&M the president’s job has always been more influential than the chancellor’s.

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