Judging from the 160 likes, 27 shares and more than 6,000 people reached and counting on yesterday’s related Facebook post alone, I’d say the Texas A&M Science audience is just as excited as we are about the big news on campus. No, not sole presidential finalist Michael K. Young’s meet-and-greets with various faculty and student groups, which was certainly cool. Rather, the announcement that Texas A&M University has rejoined the ranks of the National Science Foundation’s top 20, long regarded as the barometer for best research institutions across the country. Oh, and speaking of sole, did I mention we’re the only university in the state of Texas that made the list?
As with any complex and multifaceted enterprise, there are many ways to slice and dice research-related data, but NSF is one entity that pretty much has it as down to a science as anyone can. In short, this is a legitimate cause for celebration, particularly given that so many in this college and across this campus day in and day out play such an important role in what amounts to a university-wide research result.
On more than one occasion, Dean of Science Joe Newton has referred to the College of Science as the university’s biggest research college without an affiliated state agency. And for as long as I can remember, we’ve enjoyed a close relationship with the Texas A&M Division of Research, from related resources for principal investigators and laboratories to marketing and communications efforts. All the more reason we share in their collective pride regarding this result.
I recall asking Dr. Newton early on in my Texas A&M Science tenure why faculty choose Texas A&M, given the myriad options. His matter-of-fact answer, as both dean and a faculty member, has never wavered:
“Scientists go where they can do their science best.”
So pleased that Texas A&M University is one of those places and that the world is taking notice. Congrats, Texas A&M Research, and here’s to many more years of productive, world-changing results!