Texas A&M Attracts Nobel Laureate And Five Eminent Scholars To New Institute

The Texas A&M University Institute for Advanced Study (TIAS) recently announced that six notable scholars accepted invitations to join Texas A&M during the 2012-13 academic year. Five of the scholars will serve as in-residence TIAS Faculty Fellows for three to 12 months, while another will visit campus for two several-week stays, during which he will present a series of lectures. The individuals include a Nobel Laureate and members of the National Academies of Engineering and of Science, as well as the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and one Fellow of the Royal Society.

The six individuals constitute the first class of scholars to join TIAS, an institute created to attract six to ten scholars annually to Texas A&M University; by 2018, it is anticipated the institute will attract 20 world-class scholars.

TIAS was established in December 2010 by The Texas A&M University System Board of Regents to build on the growing academic reputation of Texas A&M and to provide a framework to attract top scholars from throughout the nation and abroad for appointments of at least a year. The institute is an outgrowth of the University’s Academic Master Plan, and has also received the support of Texas A&M System Chancellor John Sharp, who provided a $5 million endowment for TIAS through the Academic Scholars Enhancement program.

“We are looking forward to hosting these world-renowned scholars on our flagship campus through this innovative program,” said Sharp. “I have always said that Texas A&M is one of the country’s best-kept secrets in higher education, and I suspect that the TIAS Faculty Fellows will be impressed by the creativity, energy and dedication of our faculty and students. In turn, we will have an opportunity to engage with some of the brightest minds anywhere.”

University President R. Bowen Loftin said that each TIAS scholar will team with one or more “rising star” young faculty at Texas A&M to work on collaborative research projects and activities that engage Texas A&M graduate and undergraduate students.

“These scholars will join Texas A&M’s already-distinguished faculty to help enrich our academic, research and learning environment,” said Loftin. “The first cohort of Fellows is representative of the type of world-renowned scholars we sought to attract to the University through the creation of TIAS, which I consider to play an essential role in our Vision 2020 goal to become recognized as one of the top-10 public research universities by the year 2020.”

Representing disciplines spanning business and economics, the life and physical sciences, and engineering and geosciences, the 2012-13 TIAS scholars are:

  • Jay Dunlap, Nathan Smith Professor and chair of the Department of Genetics at Dartmouth Medical School;
  • Peter Liss, Professorial Fellow in the School of Environmental Sciences at the University of East Anglia, Norwich, England;
  • Alan Needleman, Professor of Materials Science and Engineering in the College of Engineering, University of North Texas;
  • Aleda Roth, Burlington Industries Distinguished Professor in Supply Chain Management, College of Business and Behavioral Science, Clemson University;
  • Vernon Smith, Professor of Economics and Law, George L. Argyros Endowed Chair in Finance and Economics, Economic Science Institute, Chapman University;
  • K.R. Sreenivasan, University Professor, Department of Physics and the Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences, New York University.

TIAS Founding Director John L. Junkins praised the selection of this first class of fellows. “The positive impact on the university of this world-class talent cannot be over-emphasized,” said Junkins. “These exceptional faculty fellows, together with our current top-flight faculty, will help foster an even more vibrant environment for research and learning.

John L. Junkins

John L. Junkins

“The launch of TIAS distinguishes Texas A&M University in a uniquely positive way relative to all public universities,” Junkins added. “A successful implementation of TIAS over several years will result in a dramatic enhancement of both the quality and reputation of the university.”

Faculty fellows and other scholarly guests of TIAS are annually selected through a process led by an electorate of acclaimed current faculty at Texas A&M, consisting of Nobel Laureates, Wolf Medal recipients, National Academies members and distinguished professors, among others.

About the Texas A&M University Institute for Advanced Study: The Texas A&M University Institute for Advanced Study (TIAS) provides a catalyst to enrich the intellectual climate and educational experiences at Texas A&M. It is a mechanism for attracting world-class talent to the university and is driven by nominations of National Academy and Nobel-prize caliber researchers that align with existing strengths and ambitions of the university. The wide-ranging areas of advanced studies in TIAS include, but are not limited to, architecture; arts, humanities, and social sciences; business; education; engineering; physical, geophysical, agricultural, and life sciences; public and foreign policy; and multiple disciplines.

About research at Texas A&M University:   As one of the world’s leading research institutions, Texas A&M is in the vanguard in making significant contributions to the storehouse of knowledge, including that of science and technology. Research conducted at Texas A&M represents an annual investment of more than $700 million. That research creates new knowledge that provides basic, fundamental and applied contributions resulting in many cases in economic benefits to the state, nation and world. To learn more, visit http://vpr.tamu.edu.

Media Contact: John L. Junkins, (979) 845-3912




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