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Michael D. McKinney, M.D.

The Texas A&M University System

Michael D. McKinney, M.D., became chancellor of The Texas A&M University System on November 22, 2006. Since then, he has assembled a leadership team of top researchers, policy-makers and planners to guide the A&M System into a new era of cooperation, achievement and international prestige.

To that end, Dr. McKinney also has championed the recruitment of the best and brightest faculty, staff and administrators at the A&M System’s 11 universities, seven state agencies and health science center. He was the driving force behind the creation of the Academic Scholars Enhancement Program (ASE), a program created to recruit and retain outstanding scientists and researchers. He also created the Chancellor’s Teaching Excellence awards, which provides A&M System funding for students to select and honor their top classroom professors.

Steady recruitment of outstanding faculty has led to path-breaking innovations in genome technology, biopharmaceuticals and health sciences. Equally important to the chancellor is the exploration of new ways to share the benefits of academic breakthroughs. The Office of Technology Commercialization has created bold new commercial alliances with industry and the public sector that are redefining university and public interaction. One measurement: externally funded A&M System research revenues top $676 million annually.

Another mark of Dr. McKinney’s leadership can be seen in booming enrollment across the System, which has increased to more than 115,000 students. In 2008, many member institutions broke graduation records, including flagship Texas A&M University, where more than 5,500 received degrees. Infrastructure expansions from music halls to student housing at virtually every university in the A&M System, as well as construction of state-of the-art health science facilities in Bryan and Round Rock, offer brick-and-mortar evidence of dynamic engagement and long-range confidence.

Integral to growing overall enrollment is one of Dr. McKinney’s priorities for the A&M System—increasing student diversity and boosting admissions of minority students to all-time highs. He also has championed financial aid programs that offer educational opportunities to those who otherwise could not afford college, and expanded veterans’ assistance programs for members of our armed forces.

Perhaps most significantly, Dr. McKinney’s stewardship has brought fresh energy to strategic goals of unity, strength, openness and innovation for the A&M System and its unique members. The visionary path established by The Texas A&M University System Board of Regents has been propelled to one of the most far-ranging transformations of the system since its inception in 1948.

Dr. McKinney came to the A&M System from the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, where he was senior executive vice president and chief operating officer. He served in leadership positions at the UT System, including vice chancellor for health affairs and acting dean of the UT Medical School in Houston. The University of Texas Medical Branch awarded him the Ashbel Smith Distinguished Alumnus Award in 2009, the highest alumni honor bestowed by the university’s School of Medicine Alumni Association.

He is a former chief of staff to Governor Rick Perry, and served as commissioner of the Texas Health and Human Services Commission during former Governor George W. Bush’s first term. Dr. McKinney practiced medicine for 16 years in Centerville, Texas, and was elected to the Texas House of Representatives from 1984-1991. He served as speaker pro-tempore from 1989-1990.

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