For decades, the colleges of Liberal Arts, Science and Geosciences at Texas A&M University operated independently with their own unique leadership structures, former student networks and academic cultures. That is, they did until late 2021 when it was announced that the three colleges would soon merge into a cohesive College of Arts and Sciences. Very soon, in fact: They would fuse less than a year later for the fall 2022 semester.
The scope and quick turnaround of this union—along with its announcement coinciding with numerous other structural changes across the university—took many faculty, staff, and current and former students by surprise. But Interim Dean José Luis Bermúdez clarified that the monumental move was long in the making. “One of the first things I noticed when I became dean of the College of Liberal Arts in 2010 was how weakened we were by having separate colleges where other universities have a single college of arts and sciences,” he said.
Before Bermúdez arrived in Aggieland, the merger was suggested as early as 1999 during meetings for Vision 2020, Texas A&M’s 20-year institutional plan formed under former university president Dr. Ray Bowen ’58 ’61. As the new institution wrapped up its first semester, Bermúdez laid out the greatest opportunities afforded by unifying the colleges as well as the obstacles to overcome along the way.
The new College of Arts and Sciences will…