KINGSVILLE – The Texas A&M University System Board of Regents confirmed Dr. Mark Hussey as the 20th president of Texas A&M University-Kingsville during their regular meeting on Thursday.
Hussey will begin his new role Jan. 2.
“Texas A&M University-Kingsville is a special institution with a reputation for making a positive impact on the economic development of South Texas and beyond,” Hussey said. “It is an honor for me to be able to return to South Texas where my career began and to help build on this institution’s foundation of past success. I look forward to working with the faculty, staff, alumni and community as we continue to develop future leaders for Texas and the nation. The feeling of community is strong at Texas A&M University-Kingsville and I am thrilled to join the Javelina Family.”
Hussey’s credentials as an agricultural scholar helped set him apart from other applicants, Chancellor John Sharp said.
“Mark’s breadth of experience spans the most prolific agriculture research in the country, the best agricultural academics in the country and 15 months running Texas A&M University,” Sharp said. “He did a great job in each of these and I predict he will oversee the rise of Texas A&M-Kingsville to a whole new level.”
Hussey has dedicated his career to research, service and leadership. He launched his career in South Texas in 1983 as an assistant professor at the Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center in Weslaco. He joined the faculty in the Department of Soil and Crop Sciences at Texas A&M University in 1985 and became chair of the department in 2001.
His passion for research propelled him to lead the Texas A&M AgriLife Research agency—the state’s premier research agency in agriculture, natural resources and the life sciences. In 2008, Hussey became vice chancellor and dean for agriculture and life sciences at Texas A&M University. He later led Texas A&M University as interim president in 2014.
A native of Southern Illinois, Dr. Hussey earned a bachelor’s degree in biology at the University of Illinois and completed graduate work at Texas A&M with a Ph.D. in Plant Breeding.
Regents announced Hussey as the sole finalist for the presidency Oct. 16.
Tallant Recognized as President Emeritus
Regents also approved the President Emeritus designation for Dr. Steven H. Tallant, retiring president of Texas A&M University-Kingsville.
“I am honored and humbled to be named President Emeritus,” said Tallant. “I want to thank the Board of Regents, Chancellor John Sharp for the opportunity to serve as president of Texas A&M-Kingsville for these past 10 years.”
Tallant became the 19th president of Texas A&M University-Kingsville in October 2008. Under his leadership, the campus experienced a 58 percent increase in enrollment over a six-year period.
The university has completed more than $200 million in campus construction, including the Citrus Center Education/Research Building, two residence halls, a dining hall, student recreation and athletic facilities, and construction of the new music education complex that is well underway.
Just as the student body and physical presence has increased, the university has expanded academic programs to meet the evolving needs of the region and state.
Under Tallant’s leadership, A&M-Kingsville became the 13th public university in Texas to reach more than $100 million in endowment funds, which will produce more than $4.5 million for the university to spend in the 2018-2019 academic year. He also pioneered an educational alliance with the Premont Independent School District, in which the university helped the district meet academic standards and improve its financial health through securing grants, professional development for district employees, and raising college awareness among Premont students.