The office for State Relations is located in College Station and serves as the university’s liaison with members and staff of the Texas Legislature, Executive branch offices, and other entities. The office is part of the A&M System Government Relations (GR) Team, a coordinating body of A&M System government relation officers that work in unison to advance System goals. This office provides analysis on legislative policy matters that can broadly impact the university community and strives to improve the position of Texas A&M University regarding higher education issues. The Office for State Relations works in unison with other units throughout campus to develop and coordinate the potential effects of pending legislation and implement legislative guidance. For more information on the Office of State Relations, please visit, https://governmentrelations.tamu.edu/.
The office for State Relations is led by Mr. Michael O'Quinn ’86 who serves as Texas A&M’s liaison with elected state officials, the A&M System, and GR colleagues at other Texas universities. Dr. Stanton Calvert is Special Advisor to the Vice President for Government Relations and serves as Vice Chancellor Emeritus. Dr. Calvert's office is located in Austin, TX .
Robust Formula Funding
Base funding - through the general academic formula - provides the same state funding for students taking the same courses across all public higher education institutions. Formula funding and tuition are the two primary sources of funding for instruction and operations at Texas A&M. General Revenue (GR) per student has dropped from $5,216* ($6,070** when inflation-adjusted) in 2008 to $4,716* in 2018. When the state is unable to maintain formula rates to keep up with inflation, enrollment growth, the increasing costs of educating tuition-exempted students, and the cost of maintaining excellence for our students, it puts pressure on tuition.
Texas Research University Fund (TRUF)
Our second priority is to maintain current funding rates for the TRUF formula; Texas A&M’s 2nd largest source of GR. This fund, in addition to the Governor’s University Research Initiative (GURI), allows Texas A&M to compete with other national research universities in recruiting and maintaining outstanding faculty. The support provided by these programs was instrumental in bringing a number of highly recruited faculty to Texas since 2015. Since that time, our research expenditures have increased 4.48% from $866.7 million to $905.5 million, and the number of our National Academy members has increased from 30 to 37. Funding for TRUF decreased almost 22% from last biennium to this biennium.
No Cuts and Full Funding for All Programs
Our third priority is for all programs to be fully-funded and not incur any cuts, including non-formula items (e.g., Texas Sea Grant, Texas A&M Cyclotron, Texas A&M Colonias Program, and Energy Resources Program). Our non-formula funding helps the state in public service, basic and applied research. While we do not receive a large amount of non-formula funds, what the university does receive and how it leverages these funds are important to Texas.
Data Science for Energy
Through Texas A&M’s strong energy-related programs and the newly created Texas A&M Institute of Data Science, the university is uniquely positioned to make an impact on both the research and workforce development aspects of Texas’ current and future energy supply. Data Science for Energy will seed projects to attract significant external federal and industry funding. It will also enable researchers to collaborate with energy industry partners to analyze and act on massive amounts of complex data from oil, wind, solar and nuclear sectors. All of these areas hold the keys to Texas’ leadership as the energy capital of the 21st Century. The institute will also focus on training the future workforce to fill jobs in the energy industry and other data intensive sectors of the state and U.S. economy.
The goal of Texas A&M’s office for Federal Relations is to elevate the national profile of Texas A&M University, its faculty, researchers, and students. To accomplish this, the office works closely with The Texas A&M University System Office of Federal Relations, located in Washington D.C. The System office is currently led by Mr. Scott Sudduth and he and his staff serve as the conduit to Congressional Members, staff, and high-level federal agency personnel.
The Office of Federal Relations maintains excellent relationships with the 38 member (36 House members + 2 Senators) Texas Congressional delegation to raise awareness of Texas A&M's vast and diverse university system. As part of this effort, they accompany Members and staff during campus visits, and help arrange Texas A&M faculty, administrator, and student visits in Washington. The office maintains a current understanding of federal research priorities, and works to ensure that Texas A&M is a part of solving national-level issues by monitoring federal legislation regarding national higher education and research.
Finally, the Office of Federal Relations work closely with national-level higher education associations such as the Association of American Universities (AAU), and the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) to address issues that affect the higher education community more broadly. For information on the Texas A&M University System, Washington, D.C. office, please visit www.tamus.edu/relations/federal-relations.