Walter V. Wendler is President of West Texas A&M University and former Chancellor of Southern Illinois University Carbondale. He is also a distinguished alumni of the College of Architecture at Texas A&M University.
He was appointed to the position of President at WT in September 2016. He began his tenure as Chancellor of Southern Illinois University Carbondale on July 1, 2001 and completed his contract in 2007, and returned to teaching Architecture.
Immediately prior to his appointment as Chancellor he served as Vice Chancellor for Planning of The Texas A&M University System for 2 years. He was the inaugural holder of the William M Peña Professorship of Information Management in the College of Architecture.
Professor Wendler was the Executive Assistant to the President of Texas A&M University beginning in September, 1997. He served as Dean of the College of Architecture, initially appointed in March 1992, and re-appointed in September 1996. Professor Wendler was the head of the Department of Architecture from 1989 to 1992, and Executive Associate Dean in the College of Architecture at Texas A&M University from 1988 to 1989. Before coming to Texas A&M University, he was an assistant professor in the Department of Architecture at Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge.
He received his PhD in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Texas; the professional Master of Architecture from the University of California, Berkeley; the Bachelor of Environmental Design from Texas A&M University; and the Associate in Applied Science from the State University of New York at Farmingdale. He is a member of a number of honorary societies, a registered architect (retired) in Illinois and holds the National Council of Architectural Registration Board’s certificate.
Walter V. Wendler was reared in Northport, New York. He graduated high school there in 1968. He married Mary L. Haney in 1973.
As we both have learned all to well, life brings about challenges and opportunities, and it is with conviction and integrity that we are able to move through them with a focus on success.
I have always admired you for all of these attributes and more. Best to you!
I have lots of respect for you Walter. You did a great job at Texas A&M.
I wanted to thank you for your article in the Bryan-College Station Eagle today on the planned increase of the engineering program at Texas A&M, as well as the one on Higher Education: Ideas and Ideology. I teach U. S. History at Blinn College in Bryan and agree whole heartedly with both of these articles. I share your concern about big being the new measure of “good” at our universities and our community colleges. Thank you for making such a clear and reasoned statement on this matter.
Your article in the Bryan/College Station Eagle was brilliant. Everything you stated was absolutely correct. Unfortunately, today the goal of higher education seems to be business rather than education. Bigger is always equated with better. In my life I’ve come to the conclusion that in almost every case smaller is almost always better. Thanks for the article. Best wishes to you.
Walter, how are you. Monte talked to me about your article in the Eagle. I agree. A&M CC wants an engineering school for those that can’t afford to leave this area. Touch base. Saw John Fairey yesterday. Just want to know how you are doing.
Thank you so much for all that you share! I’m looking forward to receiving your new posts by email! May God bless you!
I gather that your position is that a key aspect of a quality college education is to teach spiritual and moral values. As a holder of that position myself, I have created and taught three times a course at Texas A&M titled “Neuroscience and Religion.”
The course has a requirement of co-enrollment in an on-line “Core Ideas in Neuroscience” to ensure an adequate knowledge base. The main course requires students to find appropriate peer-reviewed papers in science or religion journals and write essays and summaries showing how the two world views inform each other. Discussion occurs on-line and in face-to-face meetings. I want to find ways to spread this model to other universities.
I would love to take this class.
So glad your path led to Canyon. It doesn’t surprise me that you are an architect because I hear you constructing a value based vision for WTAMU. Keep designing, keep building.
Dr. Wendler – your last two articles in The Canyon News were a radical departure from “the norm” among college presidents. Most presidents I am familiar with treat rural students as if they are from some underprivileged, undereducated and backward society with whom they wish little connection. I applaud your writing. I attended West Texas State in 1965-66 with a major in journalism, and came from Bowie, Texas, some 300 miles distant from Canyon. I only subscribed to The Canyon News to keep up with my old school, and they do a respectable job. Thanks for your affiliation with the non-Ivy League crowd.
Dear Dr. Wendler,
You may not remember me. My name is Jeremy Matthews, and I was an Environmental Design student at Texas A&M graduating in 1985. I was part of the juniors studying abroad at La Poggerina outside of Figline Valdarno in Italy in the spring of 1984, and you were our professor with us that spring. This is a blast from the past. I just happened to be reading about WTAMU and saw your name as President. It rang a bell and after googling it, sure enough, you were the same person as our professor that semester, sans the mustache from back then 😉 I remember you being an easy going and friendly professor, a nice instructor to have along during our adventure in Italy, everyone’s adventure. And I remember Paolo too!
I was reading about WTAMU, because my daughter and I were just in Canyon the last two nights (staying at the Best Western, right next to the Uni) in order to visit the Palo Duro Canyon. We had a wonderful visit and hike in the canyon; got lucky with the weather. We’ve continued our road trip into New Mexico to visit the Carlsbad Caverns.
I moved on from architecture quite some time ago (wasn’t my bag really), but have good memories from Environmental Design, the College of Architecture, and Italy. It’s nice to read about your success in the years since and so far at WTAMU and hope it continues. WTAMU will benefit from your presence.
One of the best pieces of advice for high school students I’ve ever read. You are spot on!
You are a breath of fresh air for WTAMU.
Just finished reading your column on the value of place referencing Borden County. I so enjoy reading all of your columns. You are a very down-to-earth, common sense person to be one so highly educated. I, too, came from a small non-descript place of Matador, raised by a homemaker and a blacksmith/welder, neither of whom had any college education. My daddy highly valued education even though he never had the opportunity to attend. His three children have a total of 6 degrees among them, one of them a Pulitzer Prize winner. I was privileged to graduate from Texas Tech as a 32-year old non-traditional student and from Texas A&M as a 40-year old with a daughter who was a freshman there. My brother was a college professor. Keep on writing your great columns.
It’s rare when you see someone openly declaring that you should not borrow money to buy something from them. It’s even more rare when they declare you should buy from someone else who is cheaper. Folks like Dr Walter Wendler make me proud to be a student of WTAMU.
Appreciate the Focus on affordable options. Please consider the very successful one offered in Washington State since 1993. (IL, HI, MT also offering similar) “Running Start”, Free college tuition instead of High School… was a terrific alternative to High School for my kids and most of their peers. A large % of my STEM coworker’s students utilize as well. It is quite attainable to complete HS age as a full AAS or Jr Status at University. Transfer contracts are robust, utilizing all or most of your Running Start Credits if pre-arranged. I have worked for some great managers who were Running Start graduates from 20+ yrs ago. Thanks for promoting common sense in approaching college financing. (for parents and students) and grandparents too.
Well said and well thought through. Your piece is another example of your leadership from the top all the way down. Dr. Wendler; you and your work are appreciated more than can be adequately described. Thank you for coming to … and sticking with … WTAMU and the Texas Panhandle.
Dr. Wendler, you have been a blessing to WTAMU!! This coming from another graduate of Northport High School class of 1984, Keep up the focus you have established in building WTAMU into a top notch research Institution.