Long-time Laredoan and veteran educator Dr. Ray M. Keck III has been selected as the new Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs at Texas A&M International University pending approval by The Texas A&M University System Board of Regents.
Dr. Charles Jennett, University President, said the national search was exhaustive, and Dr. Keck emerged as the most qualified candidate.
"He brings a wealth of relevant experience, a rich diversity of educational backgrounds, sterling academic research and real insight into the needs of our service area. While he is especially attuned to our arts and humanities programming and will play a pivotal role in the development of our Fine Arts Center and its much-needed programs, I am equally confident that he will lead all academic programs including our international business and trade, education and science programs. This is a full university with rapidly growing programs. Dr. Keck brings an impressive range of skills and abilities that will help us to grow into the 21st Century and beyond," Jennett said.
Dr. Keck said he is looking forward to the challenge and predicts the University will soon emerge as the major regional university of choice.
"Here at A&M International we are at a remarkable crossroads in our development. With the help of our legislators and community partners, we have accomplished much and look forward to greater accomplishments. With the approach of Phase III, which will begin construction this Spring, I believe that A&M International will be solidly positioned to be able to address the growing needs of a community and area that is growing exponentially. This University will become the regional university of choice," Dr. Keck said.
Keck said the University's gifted faculty and administration have tirelessly led the charge for the University's excellence and he is committed to the charge being strengthened and augmented.
"We have some of the best minds in the country here and they offer their students remarkable learning opportunities and services every day. I look forward to working with our faculty and administration to assure that those opportunities are realized and that students are the primary beneficiaries," Keck said.
A native of Cotulla, Keck earned his AB and Ph.D. in Romance Languages from Princeton University. His teaching experience has included service in the private education sector and at state universities. His association with the University dates from 1978 when he first worked as Assistant to the President with then-Laredo State University's first president, Dr. Billy Cowart. Most recently, he has served as chairperson of the Department of Languages, Literature and Fine Arts at A&M International.
His research is far-ranging with some highlights including journal selections or presentations on the legacy of Bach, narrative and theme in Cervantes, Garcia Marquez and Allende and mimesis and allegory in the romances of Lope de Vega.
He serves on the Advisory Committee for Department of Romance Languages at Princeton University , was recently named to the Advisory Board of Texas Council for the Humanities (TCH) and is active in the Laredo Philharmonic Orchestra.
A talented organist, he has studied, taught or played the organ for over 30 years. He has designed and supervised the rebuilding of numerous pipe organs, most recently that of Laredo's Christ Church Episcopal.
He is married to the former Patricia Cigarroa. The couple have three daughters: Teresa, a sophomore at UT-Austin, Joyce, a freshman at Harvard, and Lacey, a junior at St. Augustine High School. He is the son of Joyce and the late Ray Keck, Jr.
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