Talk:Texas A&M University/Archive 7

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Archive 6 Archive 7 Archive 8

total number of students

hi, not sure where to ask this, but if you add up the number of students (37357 + 5364 + 3314), you end up with 505 less students than the total number of students listed. does anyone know why?

You've asked in the right place. Checking the source given for those numbers, it looks like there is also a "Professional" category which has a total of 505 students in it. I don't know if there is any mention of the professional program in this or any other A&M articles, but maybe there could be.EagleAg04 (talk) 06:22, 1 July 2008 (UTC)
Professional students are all in vet school. I don't think they count the medical students in this category since the medical school is part of the A&M system, and not part of the main campus (even though the first and second year students take classes in CS). BlueAg09 (Talk) 18:45, 1 July 2008 (UTC)

Established on _____???

(initial post from GregZ copied from BQZip01's talk page) All the rest aside The Texas A&M University System recognizes 1876 as the official date of establishment of Texas A&M as is clearly shown here: http://www.tamus.edu/univ/tamu.html. Why can you not allow the facts to be shown on the page?


"The Texas A&M University System—although not officially recognized as such until 1948—got its start in 1876, with the establishment of the state’s first public college, the land-grant Agricultural and Mechanical College (A&M) in College Station."

This is the exact quote from the Texas A&M University System History page. It clearly states that the first public college in Texas was established in 1876. We know that Texas' first public college was TAMC, currently Texas A&M, therefore Texas A&M was established in 1876.

The Texas State legislature set aside money in 1871 for the formation a public college. Texas AMC did not come into being as a state university until 1876, most importantly: 1876 is the year that Texas A&M claims its origin. If you continue to disagree, I would suggest that you Consult the Official Seal of the University where the year 1876 is clearly displayed in the manner that is traditionally reserved on a seal for an establishment or founding year.

Senate bill # 276 April 17 1871 house passes a bill entitled: "An act to provide for the Establishment of the Agricultural and Mechanical College of Texas." That Provision was money ($75,000, if you look further into it), which would later be used to establish the College. If you look at the wording of previous acts they are all stated in an "active" manner, For Example:"act to incorporate 'X'" & "Act to Authorize 'Y'," or in A&M's case "Act to Provide for 'Z'." The act authorizes the providing of $75,000 so that the College could be established, nothing more.

The wording of the bill was copied exactly from page 1073 of the official record of the 12th Legislature of the state of Texas, if you would like to verify

If that is not enough follow this link to another page in The Texas A&M University System website and see when they consider A&M to have been established...http://www.tamus.edu/univ/tamu.html

so please allow the proper year of establishment to show on the page, prospective students commonly use wikipedia to research their University options and it would be a shame for Texas A&M's page to be erroneous —Preceding unsigned comment added by Gregzeppelin (talkcontribs) 04:33, 2 July 2008 (UTC)

This is one of those instances where a word in the English language can cause consternation and debate over a relatively benign subject. The word "established" has several meanings and can be varied. It is the consensus of the original writers of this page that 1871 best represents the establishment date. As far as the law goes, it began in 1871. It is irrelevant that classes didn't begin until five years later, it was established under an act of Texas law in 1871. This is not to say that consensus can't change (and is why I moved it here to bring a larger audience's opinion to bear).
Your assumption about the date on the seal is not sourced and such a conclusion is WP:OR. A reliable source is required for such a conclusion. This is a requirement for articles on Wikipedia, but especially for featured articles.
I concede that there are multiple sources on this subject with varying dates.
Not to parse words, but Texas AMC did not come into existence as a state university until 1948, not 1876 as you asserted. Additionally, your source states that the University system "got its start in 1876, with the establishment of the state’s first public college..." It started in 1876, but there is a comma separating these clauses. This comma is important as it separates a "start" with its "establishment".
Thank you for your contributions. Please try not to take edits to your changes so personally (most Wikipedians are guilty of this at one point or another, so you are not alone). All opinions are welcome.
Let's see what others have to say and let's build a consensus with a rationale. — BQZip01 — talk 23:37, 2 July 2008 (UTC)
first off I apologize for taking it so personally, Secondly I am a new editor to Wikipedia, and do not know how to properly cite or else I would have cited the Seal assertion (for the record though there is an A&M seal pictured very clearly at the top of the Wikipedia page, and it displays the date 1876)Thirdly please take a moment to click the word (link) "Established" directly preceding the A&M establishment date on the A&M page, and it will take you to this page: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Date_of_establishment . It states that a date of establishment is the date "on which that institution chooses to claim as its starting point." It goes on to describe possible events which a university might choose to represent its starting. One of these possibilities is "The date on which it first opened for the teaching of classes".

If the date of Establishment is the date which an institution chooses to recognize as its beginning, then the choice is not up to us at all but rather Texas A&M. And clearly with 1876 showing on the official Seal, and 1876 clearly claimed as the Date of Establishment on the Texas A&M University System's history page on Texas A&M University College Station. Texas A&M chooses to recognize 1876 as its beginning, and thus this is the date that should be displayed on the page. I trust this forum will do the right thing and post the appropriate year. I will not do so, so as not to become a nuisance to the page, as that is the last thing I want. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Gregzeppelin (talkcontribs) 01:35, 3 July 2008 (UTC)

Actually, the article needs to reflect what reliable, independent, third-party sources say. That means that we can't just accept A&M's word for it. In this case, the word "established" is being used to succinctly say, "made provisions for the school to come into existance". The article makes it pretty clear that classes didn't start until 1876 (hence the seal's date). Can you think of a better word to use in this case? Karanacs (talk) 01:45, 3 July 2008 (UTC)

Actually primary sources are allowable as long as you "make no analytic, synthetic, interpretive, explanatory, or evaluative claims about the information found in the primary source." there is clearly no analyzing necessary to discern that The Texas A&M University System (a very reliable primary source) considers A&M to have been established in 1876. please see this page. http://www.tamus.edu/overview/about.html —Preceding unsigned comment added by Gregzeppelin (talkcontribs) 01:55, 3 July 2008 (UTC)

I think Karanacs isn't saying that a primary source can't be used, but that it shouldn't be used exclusively when other, third party sources are available. Furthermore, this is from the A&M system, not Texas A&M. While there is a minor distinction, the flagship University may say otherwise. As an example, would you trust the history of the Coast Guard from the Coast Guard website or the White House's website?
My point about 1876 is that there is no description of what the "1876" on the seal means. Or did I miss that in a link somewhere.
As for being new, welcome to Wikipedia...trial by fire. Gig 'em! — BQZip01 — talk 03:26, 3 July 2008 (UTC)

My vote is to stick with 1871 as the establishment date. →Wordbuilder (talk) 03:19, 3 July 2008 (UTC)

Also, if we want to argue non-independent sources, see this A&M page from the 06-07 catalog [1] which states: until the establishment of the Agricultural and Mechanical College of Texas by act of the Twelfth Texas Legislature on April 17, 1871. The school (if not the system) appears to accept the wording in this article. Karanacs (talk) 03:43, 3 July 2008 (UTC)

Here's my two cents. I looked at the articles for other universities (Texas State University-San Marcos, Baylor University, Texas Tech University, University of Texas) and compared the "established" date/year to each school's website. For most of ones I looked at, the establishment date on the wikipedia article matches what the university says is date that it was created by legislative action (or "Chartered ... by the Republic of Texas" as Baylor says). The exception is tu which has the same date on their website as wikipedia, but they don't say what that date is (start of classes vs legislative action). So what do to here? If we want to match what is quickly available on A&M's website, the established year is 1876. The other way is to have the establishment year be the year it was created legislatively, 1871, and that would have this article be similar to other articles on what this date means. I think it is fine as is, the article explains in detail the significance of 1871 and 1876 should someone be interested in the difference. --TreyGeek (talk) 03:58, 3 July 2008 (UTC)


t.u.'s establishment date of 1883 is the year that they began to teach classes. The Texas State Legislature established t.u. by legislative action in 1858. (http://www.texasalmanac.com/history/highlights/universities/)

If we choose to go by legislative establishments, even though A&M was established by the legislature in 1871, it would lose the honored distinction of being the first public institution of higher learning in Texas. Because it would be necessary to consider t.u.'s establishment date as the legislative date for uniformity's sake. Also since A&M is considered by a general consensus to the be oldest public university in Texas, wouldn't that imply that the establishment dates of public Texas University's be the date classes started? Otherwise t.u. would have a general consensus as being the oldest... Gregzeppelin (talk) 05:44, 3 July 2008 (UTC)

The article text could be changed to use more specific terms than 'established' when describing the early history. I would prefer the 1876 date in the Infobox along with a note since it would be consistent with the University of Texas article and the least likely to prompt future edits or discussions. Date of establishment implies that either date may be used and that there is no precise definition of the term 'established'.EagleAg04 (talk) 20:27, 3 July 2008 (UTC)
Added a footnote (#2) to explain the discrepancy. — BQZip01 — talk 22:09, 29 August 2008 (UTC)

Erronous Sully Statue dating

This may be small, but while we're sitting on here discussing dates, the section of the article regarding Sully is erroneous. It says "Upon his death in 1898, a statue was erected in front of what is now Academic Plaza to honor Ross and his achievements in the history of the school." To me that implies that it was immediately following his death. This contradicts the Sul Ross article that says "Within weeks of Ross's death former cadets at Texas AMC began gathering funds for a monument. In 1917, the state appropriated $10,000 for the monument, and 2 years later a 10 foot (3 m) bronze statue of Ross, sculpted by Pompeo Coppini, was unveiled at the center of the Texas AMC campus." I know FOR A FACT that there is an inscription on the statues itself IIRC, on the rear portion of the left side with three numbers for a date (one obscured) and Coppini's name. Txtimetraveler (talk) 20:18, 29 August 2008 (UTC)txtimetraveler

Not saying you're wrong, but where exactly on the statue is it? this image doesn't seem to contain what you're stating. ??? — BQZip01 — talk 22:03, 29 August 2008 (UTC)

AggieSat

I haven't checked on this article for a while. The AggieSat section has been greatly expanded. AggieSat itself isn't that central to TAMU. outside of the engineering department, many haven't even heard of it. I think stub article could be created with the current text with a few modifications:

(removed because fuller version reinserted later into topic Oldag07 (talk) 20:27, 23 November 2008 (UTC))

As for undergraduate research, the paragraph should be extended or completely removed. Engineering is certainly not the only undergraduate research opportunity at the school. Aggiesat is certainly not the only undergradate program of note. TAMU Undergraduate research. even as a pure engineering standpoint, the human submarine program is also of note. Human submarine

We probably need to mention this to Hut101. Gig em! Oldag07 (talk) 12:34, 22 November 2008 (UTC)

Ok, i am looking more into this. AggieSat redirects to the TAMU page. I think the University Nanosatellite Program should have a page, and just mention that Aggiesat is part of it. TAMU isn't even the only school with a Nanosat program. if aggiesat were to be mentioned, I feel it should be 1)shorter, 2) in the student life section labeled as an engineering competition not pure "research" Oldag07 (talk) 13:17, 22 November 2008 (UTC)

This was removed: Original paragraph

Besides postgraduates, undergraduate students also have many research opportunities, including AggieSat, a student organization established by the Aerospace Department to build student satellites with NASA and the Air Force Research Lab. Approximately 25 undergraduate students representing 7 majors are involved, with assistance from graduates students in both engineering and business. While graduate students manage AggieSat Lab on a daily basis, undergraduates are responsible for designing and building the actual satellites. Current projects include competing against several universities in Nanosat-5, an Air Force competition for constructing autonomous satellites, and a joint project with NASA and the University of Texas to develop two Cube Satellites for autonomous rendezvous and docking.[1] Currently the second project, AggieSat2 is scheduled for launch on-board Space Shuttle Endeavour, mission STS-127, around May 2009.[2]

  • Aggiesat is not unique to A&M. It is one of several competative bids from several universities in the University Nanosatellite Program.
  • TAMU is in several other equally notable engineering competitions.
  • Undergraduate research is not limited to the engineering department.
  • Aggiesat is only one of many student organizations that are equality notable. Our habitat for humanity chapter is one of the largest in the nation, but it is not mentioned. Nor are the unique "flos" that tamu has for freshmen.
  • Discuss Oldag07 (talk) 20:27, 23 November 2008 (UTC)

Coeducational in lead?

I took out co-education from the first sentence of the lead since I think it's a trivial distinction. The vast majority of colleges and universities are co-educational, both in America and the world at large, so it's not as important to assert this distinction at the start of the article as it is for its funding status (private, public, etc.) or type (research university, liberal arts school, etc.). BQZip observes that A&M used to be single sex and that warrants inclusion in the lead. By that metric, we should also include "racially integrated" ;) Madcoverboy (talk) 23:23, 22 November 2008 (UTC)

Agree that including coeducational is not necessary. BlueAg09 (Talk) 23:27, 22 November 2008 (UTC)
I in general agree, but coeducational does make more sense for this article compared to most. TAMU was all male far later than most intitutions were. Oldag07 (talk) 20:28, 23 November 2008 (UTC)
Racially integrated isn't unique to this institution and was the norm for many southern schools for quite some time, but they all changed in the Civil Rights era. An "All-male" distinction was far more selective and was NOT common to schools in general. My two cents: it should stay, considering that it was pretty recent relative to the age of the school. In any case, ol' Army's been going to hell since 1877 anyway... ;-) — BQZip01 — talk 21:22, 23 November 2008 (UTC)

individual student organization boosterism

Like Aggiesat, Hillel, is in my opinion not notable enough to be on the main TAMU page.

Texas A&M Hillel, the oldest Hillel organization in the United States, was founded in 1920 at the Agricultural and Mechanical College of Texas (now Texas A&M). The organization occurred three years before the national Hillel Foundation was organized at University of Illinois.[3][4]

it seems like it was copied and pasted. - was founded in 1920 at the Agricultural and Mechanical College of Texas (now Texas A&M) Oldag07 (talk) 20:38, 23 November 2008 (UTC)

Removed Phi Beta Kappa:

In 2004, the honors organization Phi Beta Kappa opened its 265th chapter at Texas A&M.[5]

Oldag07 (talk) 20:42, 23 November 2008 (UTC)

I would say Hillel could stay considering it's the oldest (that's something unique). The other two should go. — BQZip01 — talk 21:24, 23 November 2008 (UTC)

Hillel is added back with slight modifications Oldag07 (talk) 03:12, 24 November 2008 (UTC)

Two more sections that could be on the chopping block

Also in 2004, Texas A&M joined a consortium of universities to build the Giant Magellan Telescope in Chile. With seven mirrors, each with a diameter of 8.4 meters (9.2 yd), the optical telescope will have the equivalent of a 24.5 meters (26.8 yd) primary mirror. With construction slated to be complete in 2016, it will be the largest optical telescope ever constructed and ten times more powerful than the Hubble Space Telescope.[6]

With the U.S. Department of Energy's National Nuclear Security Administration, Texas A&M's nuclear research reactor became the first to convert uranium reactor fuel from a highly enriched form to a low-enriched safer form. Completed on October 13, 2006, the process of depleting the uranium from 70% enrichment to 20% enrichment finalized an 18-month, joint project. This accomplishment fulfilled a portion of U.S. President George W. Bush’s Global Nuclear Threat Reduction Initiative.[7]

I feel that these section are also too specialized for this particular page. maybe they should be moved to the engineering section. maybe with aggiesat. Oldag07 (talk) 20:49, 23 November 2008 (UTC)

These were added in the FA process to provide more of an emphasis and examples of the engineering program at the school. I believe I was the one that added them and there isn't much of a need to get rid of them, IMHO (I'm not advocating any department or any student organization here). — BQZip01 — talk 21:25, 23 November 2008 (UTC)
Regardless, the telescope section should be expanded upon in the Dwight Look College of Engineering or the Texas A&M Astronomical Observatory section. This page is supposed to be a summary according to: WP:SUMMARY for all TAMU stuff. Oldag07 (talk) 03:10, 24 November 2008 (UTC)

logos

The block ATM is most associated with the university while the seal is the offical seal of the University. Both have their place under fair use. By omitting the block ATM, you are removing the single most identifying logo associated with the University. By removing the seal, you are removing the sole official seal of the university. Harvard has the same logo for both, but other schools have more than one. Minimal use for identification is appropriate an no criterion of WP:NFCC prohibits their use. — BQZip01 — talk 08:20, 23 December 2008 (UTC)

5 featured university articles operating under the same logic. Those were randomly picked.Oldag07 (talk) 15:30, 23 December 2008 (UTC)

I'm not quite sure what prompted BQ's original comment, but I agree that both logos are important to provide a representation of the primary identifying marks of the university. →Wordbuilder (talk) 16:33, 23 December 2008 (UTC)
BQ started the discussion because someone removed the second logo saying, "per WP:NFCC one logo is sufficient to identify the subject of this article." This person went around to a number of articles doing the same thing. He even went as far as suggested on the UT talk page that having multiple logos would cause the article to not get FA status. For the record I agree with BQZip01's reversion of the edit. --TreyGeek (talk) 16:45, 23 December 2008 (UTC)
Thanks, that makes sense. →Wordbuilder (talk) 22:00, 23 December 2008 (UTC)
It should also be noted that this edit may have been masked as it was labeled as a "minor" edit (inappropriately IAW instructions on what a "minor edit" is defined as). — BQZip01 — talk 23:42, 23 December 2008 (UTC)
FWIW, I saw similar actions taken with articles on my watchlist. I'll add my pile-on support here since there seems to be a constituency to push back on this. Madcoverboy (talk) 01:03, 24 December 2008 (UTC)
The same editor, ESkog, has attempted to delete similar images from Texas Tech's page (among many others) and has initiated a Featured Article Review because his edits were reverted. Some people eh?--Elred (talk) 19:51, 25 December 2008 (UTC)

WP:BOOSTER... it's not what you think!

I gave y'all a shout out at the de-guideline-ified WP:BOOSTER ;) Madcoverboy (talk) 23:32, 15 January 2009 (UTC)

Just saw this. Thanks! — BQZip01 — talk 00:20, 27 January 2009 (UTC)

Conservatism

Added a paragraph about conservatism of our beloved university. I was going to put it in our student life page until i gave up on that. that being said, I think it is an important part of the university, and i am putting it in the student life profile section of this page. Oldag07 (talk) 05:51, 26 January 2009 (UTC)

(Moved from oldag's talk page) I'm not so sure the conservatism angle belongs here. As long as it is straight analysis, I don't see a problem, but I can see this easily getting into a "No we aren't!" "Yes we are! kind of argument. It may further pronounce a bias in the media to point out conservative schools, but not liberal ones. — BQZip01 — talk 00:00, 27 January 2009 (UTC)
We did have the youtube video, and the obama, carnival, egg smashing thing. While we might personally find the notability questionable, it did make national news. I do believe that the "reputation" part of the term "conservative reputation", is unquestionable. Thoughts?Oldag07 (talk) 00:19, 27 January 2009 (UTC)
That being said, i understand why one would not like it in the profile section. maybe a demographics section? Oldag07 (talk) 00:21, 27 January 2009 (UTC)
Yeah, I think demographics would be more in keeping with other articles: Yale, UC Berkley, Harvard, etc. Like I said before, I think this is appropriate as phrased, but could be a quick lightning magnet for POV-pushers. — BQZip01 — talk 00:37, 27 January 2009 (UTC)
Renamed profile, student body. Oldag07 (talk) 01:54, 27 January 2009 (UTC)

United States needs to be mentioned in the lead sentence

The lead sentence says "Texas A&M University, often called A&M or TAMU, is a coeducational public research university located in College Station, Texas." - Where's the United States? A&M is located in the U.S., isn't it? If the US is absent from the lead sentence, then where would it come from if it is described later?

If a university from Burkina Faso should mention the country in its lead section, then a university from the United States should too. As we know we need to have a Worldwide View of a subject, so that means treating all countries equally.

As for the idea of saying "Texas A&M is an American university," (as a way of describing A&M as of the United States) that doesn't necessarily imply connections with the federal government (there are none) - After all just because a person is American or a style of cooking is American doesn't mean it is in cahoots with the federal government. Why would it be any different regarding a university? WhisperToMe (talk) 01:32, 27 February 2009 (UTC)

It isn't so much that it is a University, but that the general location of the state is widely known, especially within the English-speaking counties: Texas. If you talk about Burkina Faso, the vast majority of readers would not know where that is and providing the country in that context would be appropriate. Furthermore, no other FA-class university articles mention the country for non-obscure countries.
We certainly should treat all countries equally, but that doesn't mean we have to specify everything about every locale in ways that aren't necessary.
No one is saying that this isn't a worldwide encyclopedia. It certainly isn't America-pedia. That said, I've been lots of places in the world and every person I've met knows that Texas is in the United States. Almost all knew the basic shape of Texas. As I said earlier, a wikilink to Texas is available for anyone completely unfamiliar with the state and it's location/nationality. The reason not to include this information is that it clutters up the page. By the same logic, you could include Southern United States, North America, Northern Hemisphere, Western Hemisphere, etc. but that would be redundant. Please also realize that this is a featured article and it must meet all the Wikipedia standards including the MOS which states, "In general, do create links to: relevant connections to the subject of another article that will help readers to understand the current article more fully...articles with relevant information...articles of geographic places that are likely to be unfamiliar to readers or that in the context may be confused with places that have a similar or identical name."
Adding United States doesn't help to understand the article more than linking to Texas already does (it mentions the location of the state and includes the a link to the University).
This is not the result of American-centric thought, but consensus with other editors and the FA process. This addition simply isn't necessary.
To state that it is an American university could imply some sort of federal association. While it receives federal funding (as do almost all public institutions of higher learning in the US), it is run as an entity of the state of Texas. Aside from federal law, by which every person is bound in the US, it is more accurate to state that it is a Texan university, if you want to be specific. If you also want to look at it this way, the states are also sovereign entities
If consensus shows I am wrong, it should be changed. If it shows the other way, I would expect it to stay the same. Let's hear some other opinions on the subject! — BQZip01 — talk 01:55, 27 February 2009 (UTC)
On a related note: "If the US is absent from the lead sentence, then where would it come from if it is described later?" Actually WP:LEAD states that everything mentioned in the lead should be described in depth later, not that everything mentioned later should be described in the lead. — BQZip01 — talk 02:01, 27 February 2009 (UTC)
  • 1. Featured articles can stray from their standards and they can be de-listed if they go too far. Also just because it's featured doesn't mean it is perfect. If I find there are flaws in this I could ask for a review of the page. I can always notify the FA-related talk pages and say that this issue makes an article not FA.
  • 2. Bringing up geographical features and wider regions is not relevant; it is the country that is relevant.
  • 3. You said: "This is not the result of American-centric thought, but consensus with other editors and the FA process. This addition simply isn't necessary." - Please show me each and every instance of the country being removed from the page of a country-related subject during an FA process.
  • 4. By subscribing to this statement, "the general location of the state is widely known, especially within the English-speaking counties: Texas. If you talk about Burkina Faso, the vast majority of readers would not know where that is and providing the country in that context would be appropriate. Furthermore, no other FA-class university articles mention the country for non-obscure countries." - That is promoting Wikipedia:Systemic bias. We are trying to stamp this out. We have to, have to be country-neutral in this way. You have to provide country-specific context for the United States and Burkina Faso alike. Also please cite and demonstrate the assertion that "no other FA-class university articles mention the country for non-obscure countries" - Define what a "non-obscure country is." Also I think the concept of a "non-obscure country is" is introducing unwanted systemic bias.

WhisperToMe (talk) 02:10, 27 February 2009 (UTC)

In briefly looking through some famous universities around the world, it appears to be pretty normal to mention the country in the lead. See University of Oxford, University of Cambridge, University of Heidelberg, Sapienza University of Rome, and The College of William & Mary (which is one of the oldest universities in the US). Although it does not currently appear to be currently used in this way for many of our US university articles, I'd support adding "United States" to the lead to counter systemic bias issues. (ESkog)(Talk) 02:12, 27 February 2009 (UTC)
Respectfully, Eskog, mentioning the country is normal in places where the country is the dominant association with the university. For the United States, most universities are associated with their respective states. "[Countering] systemic bias issues" is not a goal of Wikipedia, a policy, or a guideline. While WP:NPOV is indeed a policy, it does not address this issue in any capacity (neutrality between articles). — BQZip01 — talk 03:27, 27 February 2009 (UTC)
I would say that countering systemic bias is one of the core aspects of Wikipedia; we have a tag that says {{Worldwide}} - Writing an article in a perspective skewed towards any one country doesn't work here. You say "mentioning the country is normal in places where the country is the dominant association with the university" - How do you define this? Who says so? What talk page discussion establishes this as normal? WhisperToMe (talk) 03:49, 27 February 2009 (UTC)
Anyone can make a template. I am stating that it is "normal" within the majority FA Univeristy articles. I would say that makes it the "normal" way to do things. That doesn't mean it is codified anywhere or that it can't be changed. There is no "skewing towards any one country here." Only reflecting the reality that most people know where Texas is and adding "United States" is redundant/unnecessary. Like I said before, let's see what the consensus is. — BQZip01 — talk 04:08, 27 February 2009 (UTC)
I agree. It's a minor change that's really easy to make without substantively affecting the article. If it helps counter the natural bias of en.wikipedia towards American subjects then let's do it. --ElKevbo (talk) 02:55, 27 February 2009 (UTC)


  1. If you feel that is the course of action you desire to take, then that is your right.
  2. Mentioning the country is bringing up a wider region that isn't necessary.
  3. I don't need to show every instance of removal of such information, but I can show what currently exists and that scores of people weighed in on the subjects with no objection based on your concerns. I would consider that a wide, broad-based consensus on the matter. Like I said before, if you feel it runs another way, it is your right to address those concerns in an appropriate venue and you are welcome to do so.
  4. This is not promoting systemic bias. It is following the WP:MOS guidelines (specifically WP:OVERLINK) which states:
    "In general, do create links to:
    • relevant connections to the subject of another article that will help readers to understand the current article more fully....
    • articles with relevant information, through references...
    • ... [doesn't apply]
    • ... [doesn't apply]
    • articles of geographic places that are likely to be unfamiliar to readers or that in the context may be confused with places that have a similar or identical name.
    By creating a link and/or mentioning "United States", it is providing duplicate information.
  5. This is not promoting a systemic bias, it is accomplishing what is stated in WP:MOS, a guideline and a requirement for Featured Article status. Contrary to what you state, Wikipedians, as a whole, are not "trying to stamp this out." This is a group of Wikipedians who do not enjoy consensus to do as you are stating. We do not "have to be country-neutral in this way." We do not "have to provide country-specific context for the United States and Burkina Faso alike." These are, apparently, the goals of a WikiProject, not a guideline or policy.
    On a related note, I meant to say "state", as corrected above. As for all the FA-class University articles:
The remaining FA-class universities in the US (Duke University, Florida Atlantic University, Michigan State University, Ohio Wesleyan University, and University of California, Riverside) do mention the U.S., so I stand corrected. That said, they are in the minority and consensus on those pages seems to favor inclusion.
In short, let's see what others have to say and we'll just go by consensus on this page, ok? — BQZip01 — talk 03:18, 27 February 2009 (UTC)
Since you respond to their arguments, I will respond to yours, and you may respond to mine.
1. Even if your intention is not to promote systemic bias, when you exclude "United States" from U.S. places but put other country names in places associated with that country, this promotes a pro-US slant. It portrays everything in the U.S. as "normal" and everything else as not. Imagine if the articles about France were written as if France did not need to be included, but this wasn't true for any other country? Even if it's not in policy, it's still a standard and a concept that we would like to see enforced. Consider the {{worldwide}} tag.
2. Keep in mind an article passed as an FA can deviate from FA standards and can have its FA status revoked. I can simply say that all of those articles that don't mention the US need to.
3. You said: "I would consider that a wide, broad-based consensus on the matter." - I would consider the outcome of a talk page discussion a wide, broad-based consensus on the matter. WhisperToMe (talk) 03:49, 27 February 2009 (UTC)
One more thing: You said: "it is clear that it is in India. Most English speakers would not know exactly where Kharagpur, West Bengal were located." - Actually India has one of the largest English speaking populations in the world, so I could argue that quite a few would know where it is. WhisperToMe (talk) 04:56, 1 March 2009 (UTC)
It certainly has a large English speaking population, but it is not the official language. It also is not the majority of English speakers: https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/in.html . Listen, we could go about this all day. My point remains that certain areas of the world (not just the U.S.) are recognizable to the vast majority of our readers. For those that do not immediately recognize it, the Wikilink explains it all. To require this is excessively descriptive and doesn't really help us build a quality encyclopedia. That's just my two cents. — BQZip01 — talk 06:27, 1 March 2009 (UTC)
Erm, English is one of the country's two national languages (the other is Hindi). While I understand what you are trying to say, my point is that it's hard to determine what is "common knowledge" and what isn't about a location. WhisperToMe (talk) 10:11, 1 March 2009 (UTC)
The official national language is Hindi. Please read the source I noted above. I do not deny English certainly serves an important national role in India. — BQZip01 — talk 20:31, 1 March 2009 (UTC)

Does anyone else think that this conversation should be held in a wider venue such as WP:UNI to solicit more widespread participation given the precedent that would be set if we agreed that "United States" should be added to the lead? --ElKevbo (talk) 04:25, 27 February 2009 (UTC)

Only if we are trying to ascertain that. As far as I am concerned we are talking about a single article. WP:CONSENSUS can/should decide it for each article at this level. If we are trying to set a precedent, then we should hold this discussion elsewhere.— BQZip01 — talk 04:32, 27 February 2009 (UTC)
I am fine with moving it elsewhere. See Wikipedia_talk:WikiProject_Universities#Mentioning_names_of_countries_in_the_lead_sentence WhisperToMe (talk) 17:19, 27 February 2009 (UTC)

I don't have an opinion one way or another on whether the words "United States" should be added to the lead. I would request that if added they not be wikilinked, however, because that is likely an overlinking issue. Karanacs (talk) 14:46, 27 February 2009 (UTC)

I am fine with it not being linked. WhisperToMe (talk) 17:18, 27 February 2009 (UTC)
As am I. I've seen a few editors make a good point that Texas is not only known to be in the US but is (or should be) linked. To list neighborhood/village, city, county, state, country, &c. just seems silly IMHO. Go for city (if applicable) and state/province, depending on how widely the country in question uses state names. The United States are the United States and state names are widely used and familiar with non-estadounidenses. I've lived outside the US, and state names are fairly well known from what I've seen and heard. If perchance someone doesn't realise that Texas or Ohio is in the US, they can easily click and find out. That's my dos centavos. --Aepoutre (talk) 22:56, 27 February 2009 (UTC)
Thanks, Aepoutre. Couldn't agree more. — BQZip01 — talk 04:47, 28 February 2009 (UTC)
Responded on the other talk page. WhisperToMe (talk) 04:52, 1 March 2009 (UTC)

Current Status Updates

After visiting campus this past weekend, I feel that the massive campus construction projects should have a blurb on this page. I have already expanded the Campus of Texas A&M University page. How about:

Following the completion of a comprehensive Campus master plan, the Texas A&M campus has entered an expansion phase with some of the largest construction projects the intuition's history underway. In 2007, 700 million dollars of construction projects have been planned or already underway in the Bryan College Station area. To fund this expansion, the university is relying on state funding, donations, fees and tuition revenue bonds to cover costs.[8]

We can also elaborate, maybe not here on tuition deregulation, maybe? or maybe just in the history section. Thoughts? Oldag07 (talk) 07:29, 18 March 2009 (UTC)

I'm not sure that information really belongs here. I'm curious as to what everyone else thinks. Karanacs (talk) 13:50, 18 March 2009 (UTC)

Link checker

Considering the last significant clean up effort on this page was almost two years so, I checked with the link checker, and we seem to have several dead links. If anybody would like to help me clean up, this link checker is a great place to start. Oldag07 (talk) 04:18, 2 April 2009 (UTC)

I tried to rewrite the SAT section.

The middle 50% of the freshmen had an average SAT scores of : in critical reading, 520 - 630, math, 560 - 670, and writing 500 - 610. As for ACT test, the middle 50% freshmen class at Texas A&M scored between a 23 and 29.

to fix a dead link. This is the new source [2].

Adding the high scores and the low scores together and saying aggies scored between 1580-1910 is not statistically correct. the average student is likely to have scored higher than average on some sections and lower than average on other sections. students with high scores or low scores on three sections would no longer be considered average students and unlikely in the 50 percentile of the student population as mentioned above. That being said, i don't like how i worded the section. suggestions. Oldag07 (talk) 03:41, 3 April 2009 (UTC)

Basketball

I will eventually when I get time, try to replace the sentence.

Both the men's and women's team reached NCAA postseason appearances in 2006, a first for A&M since Big 12 play began in 1996.

however, I don't pay much attention to aggie basketball, but I do believe we have made the tournament four years in a row for both teams, with is a far better accomplishment than this mere statement. a complete rewrite, or at least some sources of how to replace this sentence would be greatly appreciated. Oldag07 (talk) 19:52, 5 April 2009 (UTC)

I deleted the troublesome paragraph. I am thinking about putting in:
While Texas A&M is historically not considered a basketball powerhouse, both teams have had been relatively successful in recent years. The men's basketball team have competed in the tournament four years in a row (2006-2009), half of the school's total NCAA tournament appearances in its close to 90 year history. The women have made the tournament two years in a row, including an elite-eight appearance, also half of the school's total NCAA appearances.
It needs some work but, it accurately describes our current situation. thoughts Oldag07 (talk) 02:17, 9 April 2009 (UTC)

Tenure and technology commercialization

This is actually a big deal. . . . I am eventually going to put it in, but i don't have time at the moment.

Texas A&M is the first public university to make technology commercialization a basis for tenure.

http://www.genomeweb.com/biotechtransferweek/texas-am%E2%80%99s-use-tech-commercialization-basis-awarding-tenure-gains-traction http://www.technologytransfertactics.com/content/reprints/1007-tenure/

http://sago-news.tamu.edu/releases/?p=166

Suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks and Gig em. Oldag07 (talk) 03:15, 9 April 2009 (UTC)

Whether the "flagship" status of a university can be presented as objective fact

There is currently an RfC on this question at Talk:University of Maine#Flagship RFC. Coppertwig (talk) 12:34, 16 May 2009 (UTC)

Endowment

Wouldn't it be more appropriate to put the college station campus endowment of $413,511,711 as oppose to the TAMU systemwide endowment? [3] TrainerTomlol (talk) 16:16, 6 June 2009 (UTC)

Agreed, but i am not exactly sure how to state it in the endowment section of the page. we have extensive elaboration about how we are calculating the amount of money the whole system is receiving. However, how the US News and world report only states a number. Is that the PUF allocation for Texas A&M divided by the number of universities in the system. does it add private donations. I just don't know how to state it. Oldag07 (talk) 17:52, 6 June 2009 (UTC)

Organization and administration section

I note that this article doesn't appear to have any section dedicated to describing the organization and administration of the university. Per WP:UNIGUIDE, might we devote some space for the structure of the administration, current leadership, budget, relationship with a board of trustees, relationship with other public university systems in Texas, student and faculty government, endowment information, academic divisions of the college/university, formal affiliations with other educational institutions, membership in major consortium or other inter-university organization, etc.? Madcoverboy (talk) 14:49, 17 July 2009 (UTC)

History section changes

I added what I think are some key facts about the university to the history section. To keep the section as concise as possible, I think we need to clean out as much extra detail as we can from this article. Some of what I removed has been reinstated, so I'm opening the discussion here to get more opinions.

  • Rudder's class year. I can see how this is important in the history article, but I don't see how it is relevant in what should be a brief overview of the history.
  • Sul Ross statue. I don't think it is important to this article to note that a statue was erected to Sully. Sully's accomplishments are important to this article, but the statue is, in my opinion, very low on the list of important facts about his tenure or the university as a whole. There is a portrait of Sully that can be substituted for the picture of the statue.

Thoughts from others on these two issues? Any other points that should be left out of this overview (but kept in history article)? Karanacs (talk) 02:38, 19 August 2009 (UTC)

I think a lot of the trimming/editing was fine. As for the statue, the fact that Sully was so beloved they erected a statue in the center of the campus shows how much he was appreciated. To not emphasize that does the brief history a disservice, IMHO, especially when you consider the prominence of the statue in Campus traditions and campus life. A short, single sentence is enough. I also think keeping Rudder's class year is important for perspective. If you'll check the archives, it was there during the FAR. It is an additional detail that doesn't go too in-depth, but also adds potentially important/abnormal details; it doesn't hurt those add 3 words. Thanks for working amicably by using the WP:BRD principle. Let's see what others say. — BQZip01 — talk 03:03, 19 August 2009 (UTC)
I think the fact that we are highlighting only Sully and Rudder in the article shows how important they were to the history. Does knowing that there is a statue help someone unfamiliar with the university to understand its history?
The fact that they have a statue is not important; what is important is what the men did to deserve having statues. The Sully statue is covered in his article, the traditions article, and the history article; I don't think it needs to be here as well. Karanacs (talk) 03:29, 19 August 2009 (UTC)
I would argue to the contrary and there are a minimal number of statues to individuals on campus (especially in comparison to other campuses). The fact that they erected a statue is quite relevant, IMHO. In short, what they did was so important that they erected a statue and that statue plays a prominent role in day-to-day activities are the reasons a single sentence should mention it.
You also seem to be trimming an awful lot of pictures. I think we should keep the image of the cadet as it shows a good angle of what a cadet uniform looks like. If there is a better image, I have no problem replacing it. I think the one with the band could stay or go, but I'd prefer it to stay since it shows a rather unique aspect of the school and its military heritage. The arches can stay or go/ditto with Research Park; they don't figure into anything prominent, but I don't see any harm in keeping them. I think the image of the profs/students at TAMUQ should stay as they are an extremely unique component of the university system and it shows the typical day-to-day wear at the school. I think the additional information was also cut.
This is no slight towards you, but I think you are trimming interesting details while cutting to the driest part of the information. This is an FA and the prose should be engaging and interesting as well as informative. I think there is adequate room for both. We are well under the limits for prose in an article (~58K by my count), so trimming here seems to be excessive and there is actually quite a bit of room to expand, not shrink. There is no reason we can't add a few extra details here and there. — BQZip01 — talk 04:06, 19 August 2009 (UTC)
You do realize you've trimmed almost everything with a person in the picture, right? The school is about the people, not the buildings. If you want to trim, I suggest starting with the cyclotron and some of the other buildings. — BQZip01 — talk 04:17, 19 August 2009 (UTC)

The article doesn't tell us that the statue is important in day-to-day activities, nor does it tell us that having the statue is unique. In the grand scheme of things, will a reader unfamiliar with TAMU care that there is a statue? I would think they would rather know more details about what Sully did than how he was memorialized. I'm trying to read the article through as if I were an FAC reviewer who had never seen this before (I would have opposed its state yesterday given the upgrade in FAC standards in the last few years), and as an FAC reviewer I'd have yanked that level of what seems like triviality out of an article. Karanacs (talk) 14:28, 19 August 2009 (UTC)

Then a few phrase(s)/sentence(s) should be added if it is missing something, not take it away. I understand you are trying to improve the article (laudable, really), but I think you are cutting when more could be added instead. — BQZip01 — talk 15:09, 19 August 2009 (UTC)
I still don't think the statue is important in the grand scheme of things. What else do you think is missing from history (or traditions)? I tried to pick up more of what seemed important but I'm sure we could expand a bit further. Karanacs (talk) 15:16, 19 August 2009 (UTC)

Brainstorming:

  • While all my other ideas might be complete junk, this one is a good one. We should add stuff about A&M's recent biosafety lapses with the CDC. Keeps page "neutral", and keeps the page recent. Maybe not in the history section, but if not the research section.
  • add stuff on the sports teams, but that seems well covered in the traditions/ athletics section.
  • Number of Aggie troops were deployed in Vietnam, Desert Storm, Iraq, and Afghanistan, but I am not sure if that is appropriate here.
  • elaborate more on the Dr Gates Era, an
  • the Campus Master Plan
  • Can, and probably should add some of the recent money the school has gotten for research. Like him or hate him, Perry has been great at bringing in the pork for our school.
  • as suggested in one of the earlier sections, and add an administration section.
  • Or we can as i started to, and gave up on earlier, fix all the sources, and the deadlinks. I took out a big chunk of them, but some of them were too difficult.
  • Or we could just put this page up for a FAR, and see what external editors might suggest.

Take them or leave them. Oldag07 (talk) 04:45, 20 August 2009 (UTC)

You are right, the Research section needs some improvements and updating, and you have some good ideas for that. That will require a little more research on our part - history and traditions were pretty easy because those articles are fairly fleshed out already. Karanacs (talk) 20:38, 21 August 2009 (UTC)

Images

I think there were (and still are) way too many pictures in the article, and that is part of what is causing the article to load slowly. It also makes the article seem sloppy - too many pictures jammed together. There are about 20 pictures currently in the article, which is an incredibly high number for an article not on an artist or art movement. I think we should only keep images that are relevant and show something interesting. What does the TAMUQ picture actually show the reader? You can't see any of the campus, and the people look like students anywhere. To me, that is not helpful at all. I think we really need to justify each image in the article, and if it doesn't actually provide unique information, or depict something that can't be shown easily in words, the image probably doesn't belong. For an article this size, I'd aim for 10-14 images. Karanacs (talk) 14:28, 19 August 2009 (UTC)

The TAMUQ shows students and faculty from a wide variety of backgrounds, to include traditional Muslim clothing, which is quite unique for an American institution. The load speed has a LOT to do with the citation templates all over which slow it down quite a bit. That is an inherent flaw in the system, not a problem with the pictures. — BQZip01 — talk 15:09, 19 August 2009 (UTC)
We did a test on Roman Catholic Church, which, granted does not have as many cite templates as this article, and removing the templates didn't make the page load any faster. The big kicker there were images. (Plus, too many images just makes the page look crowded.) Karanacs (talk) 15:15, 19 August 2009 (UTC)
I am not very involved with the FA system. But, I wouldn't mind if someone took the Cyclotron, the rec center, and the alumni center, considering the fact that all three of those were pictures taken by me. Oldag07 (talk) 15:23, 19 August 2009 (UTC)

Good source

Before I forget, I found a pretty good source to add to our page.

http://www.kbtx.com/tamu/headlines/56731657.html —Preceding unsigned comment added by Oldag07 (talkcontribs) 13:51, 2 September 2009 (UTC)

It is good to see you BlueAg09. Keep up the good work. Oldag07 (talk) 02:08, 3 September 2009 (UTC)


Academics/Worldwide

I would like to merge the Worldwide section into the other areas of Academics. I think some of this would be an excellent introduction to the research section, and other bits would fit well in the Student Body section. If there are no objections, I'll make the change tomorrow morning (Texas time), before the article makes it on the main page. Also, should endowment be a separate higher-level section rather than be lumped under Academics? It doesn't have a lot to do with academics, per se. Karanacs (talk) 19:57, 28 September 2009 (UTC)

I'm generally not in favor of making substantial changes to a Featured Article immediately before it's featured on the Main Page. But please make your edits and we'll see how it turns out!
Additionally, it might be helpful to check out the guidelines for college and university articles for guidance on how sections should be arranged. --ElKevbo (talk) 20:09, 28 September 2009 (UTC)
I would normally agree with you about not making major changes to an article just before it hits the main page, but this one has needed a prose revamping for some time (FA standards have definitely improved since this passed two years ago). We started the copyedit a few weeks ago but hadn't finished. I didn't see anything on the uniguide about endowment (which doesn't mean it isn't there!). And, as I should have done first, here's my proposal for the Academics section [4] (I reverted it out of the article until everyone has had a chance to take a look.) Karanacs (talk) 20:25, 28 September 2009 (UTC)
Karana, I see nothing major wrong with it (at a glance), but I think the "See also" section is unnecessary. I think that project, if major enough, could simply be included in the prose. If not significant enough, then it just shouldn't be there. There are probably thousands of projects upon which the University is collaborating at any given time, I see no special need to single out this one. Thoughts? — BQZip01 — talk 20:52, 28 September 2009 (UTC)
I don't have any feelings about that project. Someone had inserted as a (see ...) into the text and I didn't want it there (per MOS). I haven't looked for any sourcing on it. Karanacs (talk) 20:59, 28 September 2009 (UTC)

I like Karanacs' idea about merging "worldwide" into other parts of the page. Also when reading though the article, I agree with an earlier suggestion on the talk page to create a new section about the institution of Texas A&M. Very little on this page talks about how this school functions within the TAMU system. There is no explicit mention on the difference between our branch campuses TAMU Galveston and Qutar and our sister schools within the system, TAMU Commerce or Kingsville. A new section would also be a good place to put the endowment section. Keep up the good work. Oldag07 (talk) 21:55, 28 September 2009 (UTC)

I support the merge as well. I wish we had a picture to accompany the section though. I tried to look for relevant free use pictures, but could not find any. Do y'all know why the Research Park picture that used to be in that section got removed? If we can't find any other images, then I guess we'll have to add that one again. BlueAg09 (Talk) 09:38, 29 September 2009 (UTC)

For information on the recent image changes, see here. As for merging, I think it can wait until after tomorrow. but we will see. Oldag07 (talk) 12:43, 29 September 2009 (UTC)

Last minute concerns/my edits

Here are a few minor grammar problems I found:

  1. The "World Wars era" paragraph in the history section uses the word "many" quite a few times.
  2. The first paragraph of the "Student body" section, I'm not sure if the verb tenses all agree...please check. Those stats are from last fall, so shouldn't it be written in past tense?
  3. In the "Rankings" section, "ranked", "listed", "ranks" are all used--which verb is used correctly?

That's all I have for now; I'll see if I can find more later. Also, the article will appear on the main page at 7:00 P.M. CST today, so we should plan on making any additional changes prior to that time. BlueAg09 (Talk) 10:08, 29 September 2009 (UTC)

  1. ^ "Student Satellite Program". AggieSat Lab. Retrieved 2008-06-23. 
  2. ^ "STS-127: Endeavour's crowded mission to complete Kibo". NASA Space Flight. Retrieved 2008-06-23. 
  3. ^ From Christian Science to Jewish Science: Spiritual Healing and American Jews Oxford University Press page 160
  4. ^ Gabrielle Birkner (2005-05-06). "A Cushy Fit In Bush Country". The Jewish Week. Retrieved 2007-12-30. 
  5. ^ "Texas A&M Joins Phi Beta Kappa Ranks" (Press release). Texas A&M University. February 17, 2004. Retrieved 2007-07-01. 
  6. ^ Giant Magellan Telescope "Giant Magellan Telescope" Check |url= value (help). Giant Magellan Telescope. Retrieved 2007-01-01. 
  7. ^ "A&M reactor gets safer uranium", The Battalion, 2006-10-18, retrieved 2007-01-01  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  8. ^ Huffman, Holly (2007-06-17). "A&M construction projects add up to $700 million". The Eagle. Retrieved 2009-03-18.