New TAMIU President Named By TAMUS
DALLAS -- At a special meeting in Dallas, The Texas A&M University System Board of Regents voted to offer Dr. J. Charles Jennett, currently the provost and vice president for academic affairs at Clemson University in South Carolina, the position of president of Texas A&M International University in Laredo.
At the board's instruction, Chancellor Barry B. Thompson is expected to negotiate the details of an employment agreement with Jennett as soon as possible.
Jennett, 56, would become the fourth president of TAMIU, succeeding Dr. Leo Sayavedra, who assumed the position of deputy chancellor of academic institutions and agencies for the A&M System in January.
Mr. Jose Garcia, who has served as interim president of the university since January, will return to his position of vice president for finance and administration for TAMIU.
If he accepts the position, Jennett is expected to join TAMIU by August 1.
Jennett was one of the three finalists recommended to the regents earlier this year after a nationwide search by a 15-member committee composed of TAMIU faculty, administration and student government, alumni, and members of the Laredo community. The committee was assisted by Sandhurst and Associates of Dallas, a professional executive search firm.
Thompson said he is extremely pleased with the board's decision. "In addition to his distinguished academic and administrative record of superior service, Dr. Jennett is above all a strong and dynamic leader," Thompson said, "His comprehensive wealth of experience and understanding of higher education's critical and changing role in our society puts him on the cutting edge of higher education leadership.
"I am confident that Dr. Jennett can bring the necessary long-range perspective to Texas A&M International University and lead the institution effectively as it continues to face tremendous growth," Thompson said.
Jennett has served Clemson University since 1981 and has been in his current position since 1992. He also served as dean of the college of engineering and professor of environmental systems engineering at Clemson.
As provost, Jennett is responsible for strategic planning and oversees academic programs for more than 17,000 students and 1,200 faculty, 3,000 staff.
As dean, he worked to increase minority freshman enrollment in the college of engineering from less that 2 percent to more than 15 percent, making Clemson one of the top 20 producers of minority engineers in the nation. He also was responsible for increasing annual giving to the college from $140,000 a year to more than $5 million a year.
Prior to joining Clemson, Jennett served as professor and chairman of the civil engineering department at Syracuse University and associate professor of civil engineering at the University of Missouri-Rolla.
Jennett received his Ph.D. in environmental and water resources engineering from the University of New Mexico and earned master's and bachelor's degrees in civil engineering from Southern Methodist University in Dallas.
A widely published scholar, he is the co-author of several chapters in academic textbooks on water resources engineering. He is active in many professional and community organizations, including serving on the board of the Greenville Chamber of Commerce in Greenville, South Carolina. Other significant board memberships include the South Carolina Commission on Higher Education Subcommittee on Distance Learning, the South Carolina Water Resources Research Board and the Southeastern Consortium for International Development.
An admired teacher and professional, Jennett has been selected in recent years as the outstanding educator of the year and the outstanding engineer of the year by the South Carolina Society of Professional Engineers. He also has been named an outstanding alumnus of the University of New Mexico.
Jennett and his wife, Linda, are native Texans. Linda Jennett spent her childhood in the Rio Grande Valley and is a former Laredo resident, graduating from Martin High School. Dr. Jennett has ties in the San Marcos and Austin area.
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