This week Texas A&M University announced plans to build a new $150 million research campus on the site of an old air base west of the main campus in College Station.
This facility will serve multiple purposes, with the primary goal to act as a home for businesses around the world to perform cutting edge research. Chet Norsworth, the marketing guru who has worked with A&M on many recent projects, emphasized this point.
"People need to remember that a university is, first and foremost, a business," said Norsworth. "To that end, we are increasing our core competencies in order to provide a fully integrated research solution which can see projects from inception through the critical project chain and drive them to ground. With this new vehicle we can more effectively monetize the Texas A&M brand, which will help our shareholders' bottom line while also enabling us to pass savings on to our student-consumers. Synergy."
In addition to being a top-notch research center, the revitalized campus will also provide an alternative for students who were unable to meet the rigorous academic standards for admission to the flagship campus in College Station. Plans are to serve up to 10,000 such students at this facility.
"By rejecting students solely on the merits of their schoolwork, test scores, and competency we lose access to a very steady revenue stream. It is high time that we made efforts to recapture that market and establish the Texas A&M System as the destination for students previously rejected by the Texas A&M System," Norsworth said of the new campus. "We have not yet determined whether to refer to these high potential students as Right Path Achievers or UpLearners."
Most importantly for some Aggies, the name of this state-of-the-art facility will have particular importance to the culture of Texas A&M.
"The campus will be renamed RELLIS, an acronym for the six Aggie core valus of respect, excellence, leadership, loyalty, integrity, and selfless service. Furthermore, the campus will actually be divided into two independent sub-campuses based on curriculum. One will focus primarily on Defense Initiatives and Local Laboratories (DILL RELLIS), while the other will be directed at Science, World Energy, Engineering, and Technology (SWEET RELLIS)," said Norsworth.
"The name RELLIS will act as a constant reminder to all students about the values of this organization. However, I am still a bit disappointed they did not go with my original suggestion of SELLIR, which would serve the secondary and tertiary purposes of reminding students that this is a business first while also phonetically suggesting to them where the value of their degree is heading."