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Texas A&M University President M. Katherine Banks resigns

July 21, 2023
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On Friday, M. Katherine Banks resigned as President of Texas A&M University just over two years after assuming that role.

The surprising announcement comes after Kathleen O. McElroy, who was hired in June to direct Texas A&M’s journalism department, walked away from the position.

On Wednesday, Banks met with the Texas A&M Faculty Senate to discuss the controversy involving McElroy’s resignation.

“I will say it has been a difficult week for Texas A&M. I’m saddened by the negative attention that we’ve received. It’s been detrimental to our shared goals and vision,” Banks said.

“It’s embarrassing. I take responsibility for it as I should, as the president of the university,” Banks added.

Banks was Texas A&M’s Dean of the College of Engineering before taking over as president on June 1, 2021.

Chancellor John Sharp has announced that General (Ret.) Mark A. Welsh III will serve as Texas A&M University’s Interim President. Welsh had previously been the Dean of the Bush School of Government and Public Service since August 2016.

Welsh becomes the eighth Texas A&M President — in a full-time or interim capacity — since Robert M. Gates left the position to serve as Secretary of Defense of the United States in December 2006.

The following is a press release from the Texas A&M University System:
 

Chancellor John Sharp today announced Dean Mark A. Welsh III as acting President after Texas A&M University President M. Katherine Banks submitted a letter late Thursday announcing she would retire immediately.

The announcement comes after the Faculty Senate passed a resolution Wednesday to create a fact-finding committee into the mishandling of the hiring of Dr. Kathleen McElroy, a University of Texas professor, former New York Times journalist and graduate of Texas A&M University, class of 1981.

In June, the university announced the hiring of McElroy to revive the school’s journalism program, but that fell apart as the details of the job offer changed from a position with the possibility of tenure to a one-year professor of practice appointment, with the option to renew.

At the Faculty Senate meeting Wednesday, President Banks denied knowing about the changes in the job offer but took responsibility for a flawed hiring process after a wave of national publicity suggesting McElroy, who has done research on diversity and inclusion, was a victim of “anti-woke” hysteria and outside interference in the faculty hiring process.

Public universities in Texas are in the middle of eliminating offices of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion to comply with recent state legislation.

In her resignation letter to Chancellor Sharp, President Banks wrote, “The recent challenges regarding Dr. McElroy have made it clear to me that I must retire immediately. The negative press is a distraction from the wonderful work being done here.”

Two years ago, Dr. Banks became the 26th President of Texas A&M University after a decade of excellence as Vice Chancellor and Dean of Engineering at the university. She led efforts for the Texas A&M System to become the only university in Texas to help manage a national weapons lab, the Los Alamos National Laboratory; created EnMed, a program training engineers to become medical doctors; and oversaw dramatic enrollment growth at the nation’s largest engineering school.

Chancellor Sharp thanked Dr. Banks for her years of service and named Welsh as acting president until a national search can find Dr. Banks’ successor.

Welsh, a retired Air Force general, is the Dean of the Bush School of Government and Public Service.

President Kathy Banks’ Resignation Letter

Chancellor,

First, thank you for the opportunity to serve at this wonderful university. It has been an honor of a lifetime.

The recent challenges regarding Dr. McElroy have made it clear to me that I must retire immediately. The negative press is a distraction from the wonderful work being done here.

I wish Texas A&M nothing but the best. It has been a privilege to serve under you.

Kathy
Discussion from...

Texas A&M University President M. Katherine Banks resigns

60,824 Views | 147 Replies | Last: 11 mo ago by Laura_Jonees
Ziggy Sobotka
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Well…… Bye……
thewreckcrew
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Crap! That dumbass Dean handled this so poorly. Should be on him and not Dr Banks; she is a rock star so of course she took the high road to say 'the buck stops here'
fav13andac1)c
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Is there a news link or context on the controversy which led to this resignation? I've been out of the loop.
Ciboag96
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Nothing good can stand when entropy is celebrated and encouraged, with flags
aggies1960
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Was she the one who attempted to hire the super liberal who'd been cranking out left wing journalists in Austin or was it someone else?
Bluecat_Aggie94
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Never mind.
redjalapeno-87
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Gov. Abbott signs DEI bill into law, dismantling diversity offices at colleges:
https://www.dallasnews.com/news/education/2023/06/14/gov-abbott-signs-dei-bill-into-law-dismantling-diversity-offices-at-colleges/

McElroy said she was basing her Journalism department on the principles of DEI and CRT
PaulsBunions
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There are a couple articles about her if you Google her name, if I remember correctly there was some shenanigans about her getting pushed through without prior board approval or something. With the recent DEI ban her journalism history has been brought up. I could be wrong somebody feel free to correct me
ironmanag
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A collective cheer just went up through out tbe BCS area. I don't know if there has been a more reviled president ever.

The damage this moron did to A&M will take decades to fix.
According to the Biden White House, what Joe Biden says does not represent the official position of the Biden administration.
Angry Beaver
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aggies1960 said:

Was she the one who attempted to hire the super liberal who'd been cranking out left wing journalists in Austin or was it someone else?


That's one among many controversial things she did. A lot of current students and recent grads suffered from her shenanigans related to the merging and dismantling of departments.
Bill Superman
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Who am I supposed to be mad at? Sounds like everyone.
barbacoa taco
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Goodbye and good riddance. Maybe the next president will actually work for the best interest of the students.
AG81
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thewreckcrew said:

Crap! That dumbass Dean handled this so poorly. Should be on him and not Dr Banks; she is a rock star so of course she took the high road to say 'the buck stops here'


Absolutely false. The blame for this is squarely at the feet of the Rudder Association and the Regents. The former launched an all out assault on Kathleen McElroy with misinformation and flat out lies, in a similar way that many of its members did to Joe Ramirez when he was a candidate for Commandant. I don't know what's more disgusting, their behavior or them doing it in Rudder's name. As for Banks, just as she made Ramirez fall on his sword for the Battalion decision (which was hers), she fell on her sword for the Regents, (and Sharp). Her decision to "retire immediately", though she has tenure and could collect a nice salary for the rest of her career here means she wants nothing to do with the A&M System leadership. This isn't on the Dean, and it's not on Banks. This is on The Rudder Association and the Regents. They have brought utter shame to Texas A&M.
OldAg68
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Big loss for Texas A&M.
Charlie 31
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amercer
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Just a degree mil with a bad athletic department.
Aggie_Journalist
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100%

It's going to get harder and harder to recruit and retain top notch faculty and staff when we look like a clown show like this. The prestige of A&M and the value of its degrees will fall victim to conservative cancel culture.
Thanks and gig'em
Houstonag
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Well, we must move on. I would have stuck it out for she has done a great job. Personnel challenges happen as they do in the corporate world. Fix it and move on.

I hope the current leadership which means Sharp and the board does not get weak kneed over this and holds the line for DEI, etc. for it will only hurt TAMU and other educational institutions. Hold the line and do not compromise on our standards.
bryanw1995
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ironmanag said:

A collective cheer just went up through out tbe BCS area. I don't know if there has been a more reviled president ever.

The damage this moron did to A&M will take decades to fix.
Was she that bad? I haven't followed her tenure, but I like the overall direction of the University of the past few years.
Russell Bradleys Toupee
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I believe there are solid administrators and faculty all across the country that have been nailed to the cross of DEI, Wokism, Political Correctness and Race/Gender/Sexpref for a generation, and who would jump at the opportunity to work free of that collective torture if there were only an institution that stood loud and proud for liberty, merit, freedom and the values of integrity, hard work and core values that underpin those concepts. Is it still possible for Texas A&M to be that kind of an institution?
TAMU74
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Someone refresh my memory on something please.
I thought the journalism department had been dissolved many years ago.
Am I correct on that?
If so, why was the department being resurrected? For what purpose?
AG81
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Houstonag said:

Well, we must move on. I would have stuck it out for she has done a great job. Personnel challenges happen as they do in the corporate world. Fix it and move on.

I hope the current leadership which means Sharp and the board does not get weak kneed over this and holds the line for DEI, etc. for it will only hurt TAMU and other educational institutions. Hold the line and do not compromise on our standards.


This wasn't about DEI. This was an Aggie committed to the Aggie core values wanting to use those as the foundation for building the Journalism department. I can guarantee, not a single person involved in the attacks on her ever had a single conversation with her. Not one. Disgusting behavior from those who claim they don't want to "compromise on our standards". They violated every single one of those standards. Either that or their standards are not Aggie standards based on Aggie values.
barbacoa taco
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TAMU74 said:

Someone refresh my memory on something please.
I thought the journalism department had been dissolved many years ago.
Am I correct on that?
If so, why was the department being resurrected? For what purpose?
Yes it was.

They wanted to resurrect it because it was something significant that was missing from the university. And A&M had the opportunity to grow its communications department and offer majors in journalism. Why else would that do it? Strange question.
12Power
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Banks was way better than that woke leftist before her who had zero Aggie values and did more damage than good to TAMU. This journalism hire bs is unclear to me. Although McElroy was a former student, she seemed to be a hire that I thought would continue down the DEI / woke path and demise of the university.
AG81
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12Power said:

Banks was way better than that woke leftist before her who had zero Aggie values and did more damage than good to TAMU. This journalism hire bs is unclear to me. Although McElroy was a former student, she seemed to be a hire that I thought would continue down the DEI / woke path and demise of the university.


Based on what do you make that assertion? You're part of the problem.
Prime0882
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AG81 said:

12Power said:

Banks was way better than that woke leftist before her who had zero Aggie values and did more damage than good to TAMU. This journalism hire bs is unclear to me. Although McElroy was a former student, she seemed to be a hire that I thought would continue down the DEI / woke path and demise of the university.


Based on what do you make that assertion? You're part of the problem.
"It's what all the posters on F16 say, so therefore it's true."
bryanw1995
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AG81 said:

Houstonag said:

Well, we must move on. I would have stuck it out for she has done a great job. Personnel challenges happen as they do in the corporate world. Fix it and move on.

I hope the current leadership which means Sharp and the board does not get weak kneed over this and holds the line for DEI, etc. for it will only hurt TAMU and other educational institutions. Hold the line and do not compromise on our standards.


This wasn't about DEI. This was an Aggie committed to the Aggie core values wanting to use those as the foundation for building the Journalism department. I can guarantee, not a single person involved in the attacks on her ever had a single conversation with her. Not one. Disgusting behavior from those who claim they don't want to "compromise on our standards". They violated every single one of those standards. Either that or their standards are not Aggie standards based on Aggie values.
Do you know her? I don't, but I'm inclined to trust that an '81 Aggie would know what's important to our students more than some of the Culture Keyboard Warriors we see so often on the internet. However, I read that DEI was going to be a core building block of her program. Is that incorrect? DEI has quickly gone from a buzzword to a 4 letter word, perhaps the ground shifted under her while she was unaware, or perhaps she never said that and the comment was just speculative in nature from some of her detractors?
jrdaustin
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AG81 said:

Houstonag said:

Well, we must move on. I would have stuck it out for she has done a great job. Personnel challenges happen as they do in the corporate world. Fix it and move on.

I hope the current leadership which means Sharp and the board does not get weak kneed over this and holds the line for DEI, etc. for it will only hurt TAMU and other educational institutions. Hold the line and do not compromise on our standards.
This wasn't about DEI. This was an Aggie committed to the Aggie core values wanting to use those as the foundation for building the Journalism department. I can guarantee, not a single person involved in the attacks on her ever had a single conversation with her. Not one. Disgusting behavior from those who claim they don't want to "compromise on our standards". They violated every single one of those standards. Either that or their standards are not Aggie standards based on Aggie values.
Interesting statement on your part. Have you spoken to her? She had previously indicated in multiple interviews that DEI had a foundational impact on her view of "responsible journalism". Had her views changed?

How do you square Aggie core values with the following statement?
"We can't just give people a set of facts anymore. I think we know that and we have to tell our students that. This is not about getting two sides of a story or 3 sides of a story, if one side is illegitimate. I think now you cannot cover education, you cannot cover criminal justice, you can't cover all of these institutions without recognizing how all these institutions were built." McElroy said in an NPR radio segment on the role of journalists.

I'll repeat what I said in an earlier thread:
What we see in MSM video and print media today is that ethics has morphed into ideology when it comes to reporting the news. Ms. McElroy is a prime example where the current crop of journalists feel that they have a 'moral' obligation to determine "their" truth when it comes to reporting. Reporting of facts comes second to distribution of the determined narrative. Imo, that is at the base of her comment regarding "three truths". This is a relatively new mindset, and it was taught.
For this country to survive, this mindset must change. Journalism must return to its roots. THAT is why A&M needs a Journalism department that is unlike those that have been compromised by this "new" thinking.

You're free to enlighten us as to how Ms. McElroy would have served to reverse the current trend of journalism that has moved from informing public opinion to reshaping public opinion. As for me, her prior statements indicate that she would have done nothing but increase that trend. Ms. McElroy plainly indicated her intent to be an arbiter of what was "legititmate" and worth reporting. And how is that an Aggie value?

greg.w.h
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Russell Bradleys Toupee said:

I believe there are solid administrators and faculty all across the country that have been nailed to the cross of DEI, Wokism, Political Correctness and Race/Gender/Sexpref for a generation, and who would jump at the opportunity to work free of that collective torture if there were only an institution that stood loud and proud for liberty, merit, freedom and the values of integrity, hard work and core values that underpin those concepts. Is it still possible for Texas A&M to be that kind of an institution?
And it's Texas state law…
mitchdpm
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jrdaustin said:

AG81 said:

Houstonag said:

Well, we must move on. I would have stuck it out for she has done a great job. Personnel challenges happen as they do in the corporate world. Fix it and move on.

I hope the current leadership which means Sharp and the board does not get weak kneed over this and holds the line for DEI, etc. for it will only hurt TAMU and other educational institutions. Hold the line and do not compromise on our standards.
This wasn't about DEI. This was an Aggie committed to the Aggie core values wanting to use those as the foundation for building the Journalism department. I can guarantee, not a single person involved in the attacks on her ever had a single conversation with her. Not one. Disgusting behavior from those who claim they don't want to "compromise on our standards". They violated every single one of those standards. Either that or their standards are not Aggie standards based on Aggie values.
Interesting statement on your part. Have you spoken to her? She had previously indicated in multiple interviews that DEI had a foundational impact on her view of "responsible journalism". Had her views changed?

How do you square Aggie core values with the following statement?
"We can't just give people a set of facts anymore. I think we know that and we have to tell our students that. This is not about getting two sides of a story or 3 sides of a story, if one side is illegitimate. I think now you cannot cover education, you cannot cover criminal justice, you can't cover all of these institutions without recognizing how all these institutions were built." McElroy said in an NPR radio segment on the role of journalists.

I'll repeat what I said in an earlier thread:
What we see in MSM video and print media today is that ethics has morphed into ideology when it comes to reporting the news. Ms. McElroy is a prime example where the current crop of journalists feel that they have a 'moral' obligation to determine "their" truth when it comes to reporting. Reporting of facts comes second to distribution of the determined narrative. Imo, that is at the base of her comment regarding "three truths". This is a relatively new mindset, and it was taught.
For this country to survive, this mindset must change. Journalism must return to its roots. THAT is why A&M needs a Journalism department that is unlike those that have been compromised by this "new" thinking.

You're free to enlighten us as to how Ms. McElroy would have served to reverse the current trend of journalism that has moved from informing public opinion to reshaping public opinion. As for me, her prior statements indicate that she would have done nothing but increase that trend. Ms. McElroy plainly indicated her intent to be an arbiter of what was "legititmate" and worth reporting. And how is that an Aggie value?




Any response to this AG81?
p8aggie
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jrdaustin said:

AG81 said:

Houstonag said:

Well, we must move on. I would have stuck it out for she has done a great job. Personnel challenges happen as they do in the corporate world. Fix it and move on.

I hope the current leadership which means Sharp and the board does not get weak kneed over this and holds the line for DEI, etc. for it will only hurt TAMU and other educational institutions. Hold the line and do not compromise on our standards.
This wasn't about DEI. This was an Aggie committed to the Aggie core values wanting to use those as the foundation for building the Journalism department. I can guarantee, not a single person involved in the attacks on her ever had a single conversation with her. Not one. Disgusting behavior from those who claim they don't want to "compromise on our standards". They violated every single one of those standards. Either that or their standards are not Aggie standards based on Aggie values.
Interesting statement on your part. Have you spoken to her? She had previously indicated in multiple interviews that DEI had a foundational impact on her view of "responsible journalism". Had her views changed?

How do you square Aggie core values with the following statement?
"We can't just give people a set of facts anymore. I think we know that and we have to tell our students that. This is not about getting two sides of a story or 3 sides of a story, if one side is illegitimate. I think now you cannot cover education, you cannot cover criminal justice, you can't cover all of these institutions without recognizing how all these institutions were built." McElroy said in an NPR radio segment on the role of journalists.

I'll repeat what I said in an earlier thread:
What we see in MSM video and print media today is that ethics has morphed into ideology when it comes to reporting the news. Ms. McElroy is a prime example where the current crop of journalists feel that they have a 'moral' obligation to determine "their" truth when it comes to reporting. Reporting of facts comes second to distribution of the determined narrative. Imo, that is at the base of her comment regarding "three truths". This is a relatively new mindset, and it was taught.
For this country to survive, this mindset must change. Journalism must return to its roots. THAT is why A&M needs a Journalism department that is unlike those that have been compromised by this "new" thinking.

You're free to enlighten us as to how Ms. McElroy would have served to reverse the current trend of journalism that has moved from informing public opinion to reshaping public opinion. As for me, her prior statements indicate that she would have done nothing but increase that trend. Ms. McElroy plainly indicated her intent to be an arbiter of what was "legitimate" and worth reporting. And how is that an Aggie value?


So good some of you should read it twice. It's a good thing McElroy is not leading anything at Texas A&M.
Pluto88
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How many of us are Journalism majors that can speak intelligently on this topic? ... Oh wait, NVM.
Aggie_Journalist
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I listened to that radio segment. The question was, do journalists need to add more context when reporting the news?

The meaning of her quote changes when you share what the question was. Her whole interview was about how journalists should take time to tell stories with context instead of just putting a mic in front of someone, letting them say whatever they want, and calling it a day.
Thanks and gig'em
jrdaustin
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Pluto88 said:

How many of us are Journalism majors that can speak intelligently on this topic? ... Oh wait, NVM.
Seriously?

So only those in Journalism have the intelligence to determine the future direction of media???

That makes as much sense as the thought that only biologists can know what a woman is.
ironmanag
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This former president went on a crap storm of unnessisary changes, combining of departments elimination of others, with no plan in place and wanted it done yesterday. Many departments are in limbo because they don't know where they are supposed to fit. She didn't listen to faculty and staff on any recommendations and hired a multi-million dollar consulting firm and then did what she wanted to do anyway. It has been a complete **** show.
According to the Biden White House, what Joe Biden says does not represent the official position of the Biden administration.
 
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