Texas A&M University-Kingsville

Texas A&M Kingsville System Center-San Antonio Announces New Executive Director

KINGSVILLE - March 11, 2008

Contact: Frank Griffis
SysComm@tamu.edu or (979) 458-6023

Dr. Maria Hernandez Ferrier has been named executive director of Texas A&M University-Kingsville System Center-San Antonio, effective April 1, 2008. Ferrier currently serves as the Southwest Independent School District’s executive director for external funding, grants and of the Southwest Independent School District Education Foundation in San Antonio. The announcement was made by Michael D. McKinney, M.D., chancellor of The Texas A&M University System.

“Dr. Ferrier has the vision and leadership skills that we need to take our center in San Antonio to the next level,” McKinney said. “In addition to her professional skills, she is highly personable and she knows the San Antonio area, which are two ‘must haves’ for this important position.”
As executive director of the San Antonio center, Ferrier will be responsible for on site coordination of academic programs, financial administration, student services and institutional advancement activities.

Ferrier has a long and varied career in education. In 2002, she was appointed by President George W. Bush to direct the Office of English Language Acquisition, Language Enhancement and Academic Achievement for Limited English Proficient Students in the United States Department of Education. During her tenure, she was promoted twice, first to deputy undersecretary and then to assistant deputy secretary.

She served as executive director of City Year San Antonio and was host of “City Spirit,” a weekly television program that featured the “Texas Pledge” and volunteer opportunities for people living in the San Antonio community. In 1999, she was appointed as Our Lady of the Lake University’s first distinguished visiting professor.

In 1992, Secretary of Education Lamar Alexander appointed her to serve in the position of director of bilingual education and minority languages affairs. In 1991, President Bush appointed Ferrier to the Commission on National and Community Service.

Ferrier earned a bachelor’s degree in speech and a master’s degree in guidance and counseling from Our Lady of the Lake University and an Ed.D. in educational administration from Texas A&M University.

About Texas A&M-San Antonio

In 2003, the Texas Legislature authorized the creation of the future Texas A&M University-San Antonio. To date, the Legislature has authorized $10 million—including $6.7 million from the 2007 Legislative Session—to help the center develop academic programs and hire faculty and staff.
Enrollment at the center is currently the full-time equivalent of 629 students. If enrollment at the center reaches the full-time equivalent of 1,500 students by Jan. 1, 2010, the Legislature has authorized $40 million in tuition revenue bonds to finance facilities for the new, permanent campus, to be called Texas A&M University-San Antonio.

About the A&M System

The A&M System is one of the largest systems of higher education in the nation, with a budget of $2.6 billion. Through a statewide network of nine universities, seven state agencies and a comprehensive health science center, the A&M System educates more than 106,000 students and makes more than 15 million additional educational contacts through service and outreach programs each year. Externally funded research brings in almost $630 million every year and helps drive the state’s economy.

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