Chancellor says A&M still interested in UHV system switch
By BY CAROLINA ASTRAIN - CASTRAIN@VICAD.COM
Feb. 9, 2013 at 9:01 p.m.
Updated Feb. 9, 2013 at 8:10 p.m.
Although a bill proposing a system switch at the University of Houston-Victoria campus was defeated in the last legislative session, a Texas A&M University leader said he's still interested in the Crossroads campus.
Texas A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp was greeted warmly Saturday evening at the Victoria Fine Arts Center, where he and former VISD Superintendent Bob Moore were inducted into the Victoria Education Foundation's Hall of Fame.
The two leaders were honored for their character and their role-model status to students in the Crossroads community.
The Placedo native and his wife, Charlotte Sharp, spent Saturday evening catching up with old friends and connecting with new community leaders.
When Sharp took on his role as chancellor in 2011, State Rep. Geanie Morrison, a Republican from District 30, filed a bill proposing a system switch for the UHV campus into the Texas A&M system.
The proposal triggered a contentious time in the Crossroads.
Mayor Will Armstrong and area restaurateur Dennis Patillo were at the forefront in the battle of the two systems.
The bill was ultimately defeated.
Sharp, a close friend of Patillo and Texas A&M alum, said although no bill has resurfaced in the 2013 legislative session, his alma mater continues its interest in the UHV campus.
"I would like that very much," Sharp said. "We have a really strong brand name that we could bring the community because we're the No. 1 research university in the state."
The chancellor said he spends about three days a week in the Capitol advocating for higher education but has not heard a whisper of the switch since the last session.
After losing an election to become lieutenant governor in 1998 against former A&M classmate Rick Perry, Sharp announced his intention to run for Senate against Republican Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison in 2008 but later accepted the position of Texas A&M chancellor.
The former state representative and Victoria resident said he and his wife are constantly looking for ways to move back to Victoria.
The chancellor said the school district's ceremony was a good excuse to return to the city.
"Anytime I can come to Victoria, I'm more than happy to do so," Sharp said. "Old Victoria is one of the most beautiful places in Texas."