Kim McCuistion, dean of Tarleton State University’s campus in southwest Fort Worth, has been named associate vice chancellor and inaugural director for Texas A&M’s downtown Fort Worth research and academic campus.
The Texas A&M University System made the announcement Monday (April 25). McCuistion, who also serves as vice president for external operations at the Tarleton State campus near Chisholm Trail Parkway, will begin her new duties June 1. Dr. Karen Murray will oversee Tarleton-Fort Worth as well as locations in Waco, Midlothian and Bryan while the university searches for a successor to McCuistion.
Texas A&M’s downtown Fort Worth research and academic campus will be near the Fort Worth Convention Center and anchored by a new Texas A&M University School of Law. Representatives of the A&M System, the city of Fort Worth, Tarrant County and the economic development nonprofit Fort Worth Now signed a memorandum last fall outlining plans for the new campus, a three-building development that will be constructed in phases. The three projects are expected to cost a minimum of $250 million.
The university expects to break ground on the first building, the research center, this summer.
The new research center will be home to several career initiatives in fields such as emergency response communication, medical technologies, manufacturing, nutrition and biotechnology, officials said, adding that the campus will create a collaborative hub for key Fort Worth industries and A&M’s top research, education and workforce training resources.
“Dr. McCuistion has the leadership and vision to grow our Fort Worth research and academic campus into something great,” said A&M System Chancellor John Sharp. “We made a Texas-sized commitment to Fort Worth, and we will keep that promise.”
After more than 40 years in Fort Worth, Tarleton moved to its permanent 80-acre home on Chisholm Trail Parkway in 2019. In March, the university broke ground for a second building, set to open in 2024. With more than 100,000 square feet of classroom and specialized lab space, the $66 million Interprofessional Education Building will address the region’s two most pressing needs – increased access to quality health care and education.
“With a well-established campus in Southwest Fort Worth and nationally acclaimed academic and research programs, our university is a perfect fit for this innovative partnership with the A&M System,” said Tarleton President James Hurley. “Dr. McCuistion has been instrumental in helping us grow in Fort Worth. She knows the territory. She’s the perfect person to lead the charge.”
McCuistion joined Tarleton in 2018 as chief of staff to the university president following 11 years with Texas A&M University-Kingsville. She had a split appointment there with the Department of Animal, Rangeland and Wildlife Sciences and the King Ranch Institute for Ranch Management. She served three years as interim dean of Texas A&M-Kingsville’s Honors College.
McCuistion holds a bachelor’s degree in animal science from Texas A&M University, a master’s in animal science from Kansas State University and a doctorate in agriculture from West Texas A&M University.
“It is an honor to serve Tarleton and now to help expand the A&M System footprint,” she said. “Working with city and county leaders, industry partners and A&M universities and agencies, we will create an ecosystem of research excellence and robust entrepreneurship – I have no doubt.”