As a native Texan, Dr. Emily Fourmy Cutrer is thrilled to be starting her first semester as president of Texas A&M University-Texarkana.
And she says she already feels right at home in Texarkana.
“My husband and I call it the ‘TWT’ factor. Trees, water and Texans. They are an unbeatable combination,” she said.
Cutrer started her duties Jan. 15. She is the fourth president of the university since it opened its doors in 1971 as East Texas State University-Texarkana. She was selected as sole finalist for the position at the Board of Regents meeting in December.
On Tuesday, Cutrer outlined some of her goals as A&M-Texarkana president.
She said she intends to use the next few months to listen and learn from the university’s students, faculty and staff about the issues important to them. She said there will be an emphasis on academic excellence, student engagement and student access, along with addressing the key issues of technology and globalization.
“One of the key issues for the students is the cost, and we are doing everything we can to keep cost down and will continue to look for ways to do so,” Cutrer said.
She said she is not looking to make any immediate changes to A&M-Texarkana, but would like to cultivate a culture of continuous improvement.
“We should always be looking at things we can be doing better,” she said.
Cutrer said several things made the A&M-Texarkana position exciting to her.
“In many ways, it is new. It is a new campus, it is fairly new to the A&M System, and it is new to downward expansion. And there is a lot of community support.”
Cutrer said she is thrilled to be here and had plans to eat lunch Tuesday in the dining hall and talk to some students.
A&M-Texarkana became a four-year university in fall 2010, and the campus continues to expand, officials said. Student enrollment also is on the rise, with fall 2012 enrollment approaching 2,000, officials said.
Before this appointment, Cutrer served as provost and vice president for academic affairs at California State University-San Marcos. Before that, she was professor of American Studies at Arizona State University West, where she served as dean of the New College of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences.
Cutrer was born in San Antonio and was raised there and in Houston. She attended Hollins College in Roanoke, Va., and later the University of Texas at Austin, where she earned her bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate degrees in American Studies and began her academic career as a faculty member.