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"Nancy and I both are incredibly honored for my opportunity to serve as president of Sam Houston State University," said Gaertner. "It's kind of a home for us, and we are looking forward to working with all of the wonderful people there to continue building a great university."
Gaertner, 58, will take over Sept. 1 for Bobby K. Marks, who retires after 41 years as a faculty member and administrator and six years as president. The action was taken in the board's regular quarterly meeting, held this quarter in Beaumont.
Gaertner had been recommended to the board by a presidential selection advisory committee composed of Sam Houston State University faculty, staff, student and alumni representatives as well as a community representative and four members of the board.
The advisory committee was chaired by Nancy Neal of Lubbock, who also serves as chair of the board.
"The board is convinced that Dr. Gaertner has the vision, experience and leadership qualities to help Sam Houston State University build upon its stature as one of America's leading comprehensive regional universities," said Neal.
Gaertner previously served in various capacities at the University of Texas at San Antonio including dean of the College of Business and interim provost and vice president for academic affairs. His career includes seven years at the University of Notre Dame where, among other positions, he served as director of their London master of business administration program.
Gaertner earned his bachelor of business administration (1965) and master of business administration (1970) degrees from Sam Houston State and his doctorate (1977) from Texas A & M University.
Gaertner and his wife, Nancy, who is an award-winning elementary school teacher, were both students at Sam Houston State. They have a son who is a medical doctor in Hawaii, a daughter who is a dental technician and a daughter attending the University of Texas at San Antonio.
Neal expressed the board's "warmest thanks to the selection committee and to the people of the city of Huntsville and Walker County for their support of the university over the years and in the future."
The board's selection of Gaertner was unanimous.
Other members of the board are vice chair Don Flores of El Paso, Patricia Diaz Dennis of San Antonio, John Hageman of Austin, Dan Hallmark of Beaumont, James Hayley of Texas City, Pollyanna Stephens of San Angelo, James Sweatt of Dallas and Massey Villarreal of Houston. The system chancellor is Lamar Urbanovsky.
Other member institutions of the system are Angelo State University, Lamar University, Lamar Institute of Technology, Lamar State College-Orange, Lamar State College-Port Arthur, Southwest Texas State University, Sul Ross State University and Sul Ross State University Rio Grande College.
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