The State of the University Lunch Presented by President Dr. Kelly M. Miller

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Dr. Kelly Miller presents “Belonging and Connection,” the goal of engaging activities that gives students the opportunity to “work and interact together.” / Photographed by Chloe Tilley

Chloe Tilley, Reporter

On Wednesday, September 14, 2022, President and CEO of Texas A & M University-Corpus Christi Dr. Kelly M. Miller delivered her address on the state of the university. The address took place during a luncheon located in the Anchor Ballroom of the University Center, and guests from across the Coastal Bend attended. This annual event serves as an opportunity for members of the local community to find out what’s happening at the university. 

Dr. Kelly M. Miller started her journey as an islander 29 years ago and has had the opportunity to see the university expand into what it is today. She has devised a strategic plan called the “Islander Impact 2030,” which includes “four imperatives: the impact of student success, the impact of service excellence, the impact of innovation, and the impact of innovation,” Dr. Miller said.

The year 2022 marks the 75th anniversary of the university and much has happened over the academic year. TAMU-CC was listed in the top 10 reasons why Corpus Christi is the most “promising” city in Texas. “I don’t want to be about ‘promise’ anymore. I don’t want this university, this city, our region to be about promise and potential. But what this university can offer in collaboration with [organizations across the Coastal Bend] is that we become a city, a county, a region, and a university that is about impact, making things happen, achievement, innovation, and collaboration,” Dr. Miller said. 

The vision of the university is to “become nationally recognized for student success, academic achievement, research, creative activity, innovation, and service excellence,” Dr. Miller stated. Some of the nationally recognized programs of the university include computer science, nursing, engineering, geographic information, science, music, theater, clinical lab sciences, counseling, and athletic training. These programs are envisioned to continue expanding into the year of 2030. 

“We are also adding new programs all the time: cutting edge, innovative programs that will continue to raise our profile,” Dr. Miller stated. These programs include a masters in data science and a masters in engineering. Miller then explains how these initiatives have come to fruition over the past few years.

Throughout the years of the COVID-19 pandemic, the country was impacted by inflation. However, the Island University did not raise the cost of admission to maintain affordability. The university gave out $130 million in financial aid, a 30% increase over the past five years and an 11.4% increase from last year. Due to this, attendance and graduations were at a record high. 

Spring 2022 saw “a record-breaking class” with diverse student demographics of first generation, hispanic, and minority groups. Enrollment has increased with a first year retention rate of 8%, PSA of 4%, and an increase of freshman by 6%. Because of high attendance, student engagement in activities resulted in recurring traditions.

The 75th anniversary concert “was so successful that it became a tradition,” with future plans of other concerts, Dr. Miller said. The Plain White T’s were invited to perform for the Island University and over 2,400 students showed up for the concert. This year’s Islander Beach Bash was record-breaking with 2,289 students attending and won a national award. 

The university has seen a record expansion over the past few years with nationally recognized research and innovation centers, such as the Harte Research Institute, marking TAMU-CC as number one in the A&M system regionals.