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Ruth Simmons will resign early as president of Prairie View A&M University

By Kate McGee, The Texas Tribune

Ruth Simmons will resign early as president of Prairie View A&M University” was first published by The Texas Tribune, a nonprofit, nonpartisan media organization that informs Texans — and engages with them — about public policy, politics, government and statewide issues.

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Ruth Simmons, president of the historically Black Prairie View A&M University, said Friday she will resign at the end of February, four months earlier than she was expected to step down on June 1.

In a letter to the campus community Friday, Simmons said she was recently informed that “she could only continue as president with limited presidential authority.”

“My immediate response was that I could not and would not agree to being president in name only,” she stated. “No enduring good can arise from subservience to low standards and expectations.”

Simmons declined further comment through a university spokesperson.

Simmons was supposed to serve until the incoming president, Tomikia LeGrande, assumed the role on June 1.

In a statement, Texas A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp said that presidents in the Texas A&M System who are leaving cannot hire senior staff or deans except on an interim basis so the new president can choose their team. Sharp said he informed Simmons he would not make exceptions and she chose to resign.

“I am sorry she chose this path, but I am forever grateful for her service at Prairie View A&M University and look forward to even greater things in the future,” Sharp said in a statement.

Simmons announced last March that she would step down as president of the university, where she has served since 2017.

She said she would remain at the university as a professor and continue to help with university fundraising and leadership development.

The Texas A&M System says it will appoint an interim president to serve before LeGrande starts in June.

Disclosure: Prairie View A&M University and the Texas A&M University System have been financial supporters of The Texas Tribune, a nonprofit, nonpartisan news organization that is funded in part by donations from members, foundations and corporate sponsors. Financial supporters play no role in the Tribune’s journalism. Find a complete list of them here.

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