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1 Introduction to the University


Creating a Culture of Excellence


Tarleton State University exists to provide an academically challenging educational experience through effective teaching, scholarship, research, and service enabling students to pursue truth and acquire understanding, knowledge, and skills necessary for establishing successful careers and becoming responsible citizens and leaders.

Purpose and Role

Tarleton State University is a regional, comprehensive university. Created in 1899, Tarleton provides educational programs which emphasize teaching excellence and service for students. The University functions as an educational, scientific, and cultural center for north-central Texas. While the primary emphasis is on teaching and excellence in the classroom, Tarleton is totally committed to expanding roles in research and service.
Tarleton is totally dedicated and committed to meeting the needs of its students. Learning and the pursuit of truth are fostered in a culture of excellence which enables students to acquire knowledge, understanding, skills, and cultural experiences necessary to grow as individuals, achieve successful careers, and become responsible citizens and leaders. While offering a wide variety of professional and pre-professional undergraduate programs and graduate degrees in selected disciplines, Tarleton requires of all students a well-defined and thorough foundation in the liberal arts.
Tarleton expects its talented, dedicated faculty to achieve excellence in teaching, advising, and serving the individual student. Accordingly, the University recruits faculty and provides development programs to achieve this excellence. The University staff provides a variety of student services and professional expertise focused on enhancement of the student experience.
The University meets its public service leadership responsibility by enhancing the intellectual, cultural, and economic life of the region through an array of community education programs, numerous sponsored events, and the sharing of facilities and professional assistance.
Providing a campus culture of acceptance and friendliness, Tarleton welcomes individuals into the University community without regard to race, gender, conditions of disability, or national origin. While historically serving a regional student body, the University recognizes a growing state, national, and international representation on campus. Stressing equality and fairness, Tarleton pledges to continue meeting the educational needs of a changing society and an expanding world.


Tarleton State University is committed to carrying out its mission through outstanding teaching, concern for the individual, dedication to scholarship, creative contributions, and service by faculty, staff, and students. Tarleton will work to benefit the students and the citizens of the state by emphasizing in all of its programs and services the qualities of accessibility.

The Teaching Mission

The teaching mission at Tarleton State University is to prepare students for successful careers in their chosen fields and to be responsible members of society. Therefore, excellence in teaching is of primary importance at Tarleton and is promoted by:

  • Recruiting and retaining a highly qualified faculty.
  • Supporting a learning environment of care, concern and respect for all individuals.
  • Acquiring and allocating the resources necessary to ensure a positive and cooperative learning environment.
  • Upholding academic standards while offering a curriculum responsive to the changing needs of students and society.
  • Recognizing outstanding teaching.

The Research Mission

The research mission of Tarleton State University is to develop knowledge through basic, applied and institutional research. To ensure Tarleton's successful implementation of this research mission, Tarleton will provide:

  • The infrastructure to acquire investigative resources
  • Assistance in locating funding sources and proposal development
  • Faculty, staff, and other professionals to conduct scholarly investigations,
  • An atmosphere that fosters scholarly exploration at the undergraduate,
  • graduate and professional levels
  • Rewards and recognition for successful scholars.

The University seeks to make itself a partner with those who acquire and utilize knowledge. With research partners, we expect to contribute to the improvement in the quality of life, to search for solutions to the critically important and interrelated issues of people, environments and societies, and to increase our universal understanding.

The Service Mission

The service mission of Tarleton State University is to provide unique outreach and public services that target local and regional communities, as well as the entire state of Texas. These services extend well beyond the university campus and assist citizens, private enterprises, and public agencies. Services are provided through:

  • Participating actively in the concerns of the community
  • Providing access to the knowledge and skills of the faculty, staff, and students
  • Engaging effectively in appropriate professional activities and consultation services
  • Sharing the university's cultural and recreational activities
  • Encouraging and recognizing faculty and staff participation in leadership and service
  • Providing students with opportunities to become active in public service as part of their educational experience

Core Values

We make student learning our top priority. The primary reason for the existence of Tarleton State University is to educate our students.
We seek academic and institutional excellence. We provide an environment conducive to success for our students which include high academic standards, outstanding teaching, and excellent student services.
We foster an atmosphere of independent thought, intellectual integrity, and open discussion. We encourage academic freedom and mutual respect for ideas and thoughts of others.
We improve all campus programs on a continuous basis. We promote self evaluation, continuous personal growth, and life-long learning as essential for creating excellence throughout our university campus and culture.
We pursue campus diversity and inclusion. Tarleton strives to learn from the diversity of ideas, experiences, ethnicities, cultures, and nations that are the traditional elements of a university. Acknowledging that we are world citizens, we seek to instill global, environmental, and cultural awareness throughout our university.


Tarleton State University has established goals to implement its vision, mission, and core values. These goals are reviewed and updated periodically in response to changes in identified needs. Tarleton’s goals can be accessed from the President’s web page at /~president/ .

Tarleton State University Administrative Organization

The chief executive officer of Tarleton State University is the President. The President’s executive leadership team includes the:

  • Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs
  • Vice President for Finance and Administration
  • Vice President for Student Life
  • Vice President for Advancement and External Relations
  • Executive Director of the Texas Institute for Applied Environmental Research (TIAER),
  • Executive Director of the Office of Planning, Evaluation, and Institutional Research (OPEIR)
  • Executive Director of the Tarleton University System Center – Central Texas

Additionally, the Athletics Director reports to the President.

Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs

The Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, the chief academic officer of the University, is responsible for the operation of the academic programs of the:

  • College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences
  • College of Business Administration
  • College of Education
  • College of Liberal and Fine Arts
  • College of Science and Technology
  • College of Graduate Studies

The Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs also oversees the operation of:

  • The Center for Instructional Innovation (CII)
  • University Libraries
  • Enrollment Management
  • General Studies
  • The Honors Program
  • International Academic Programs
  • The Military Science Department
  • The Center for Agribusiness Excellence (CAE)
  • The W.K. Gordon Center for the Industrial History of Texas, Museum and Gallery
  • Sponsored Projects
  • University Outreach Programs.

Additional information on the above listed departments, programs and projects is listed under “Other Departments, Programs and Projects” in the Academic Organization section of this chapter.
The Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs responsibilities include the coordination of activities between units; the development of objectives, budgets, and staffing needs; the design of new curricula and degree programs; and enrollment management. The Provost’s office submits requested academic reports to The Texas A&M University System, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, and other agencies.

Vice President for Finance and Administration

The Vice President for Finance and Administration is the chief financial officer of the institution and is responsible for:

  • Accounting Services
  • Building and Grounds Maintenance
  • Business Services
  • Bookstore Contract
  • Campus Safety
  • Capital and Campus Facility Planning
  • Contract Administration
  • Environmental Services
  • Employee Services
  • Information Resources
  • Physical Facilities
  • Purchasing
  • TexanCard Office
  • University Police

In conjunction with the President, the chief financial officer may sign or execute contracts and may act for the President in certain fiscal matters as deemed appropriate within the institution. The Vice President for Finance and Administration handles assignments designated by the President of the institution.

Vice President for Student Life

The Vice President for Student Life is responsible for the planning, administration, and coordination of services and programs that make students’ experiences at Tarleton more fulfilling personally, socially, and academically. Student Life strives to create an outstanding campus environment for learning and development by serving students’ interests in every aspect of university life. The offices and programs under the administration of the Vice President for Student Life include:

  • Career Services
  • Center for Diversity Initiatives (CDI)
  • Dean of Student Life
  • Financial Aid
  • Food Services
  • Residential Living and Learning
  • Recreational Sports
  • Rodeo Activities
  • Student Activities
  • Student Counseling Center
  • Student Health Center
  • Student Leadership Programs
  • Student Life Studies
  • Student Publications
  • Thompson Student Center

By effectively combining dedicated people and innovatively-applied resources, Student Life achieves its purpose of providing a climate of accessibility, advocacy, and assistance for Tarleton students.

Vice President for Advancement and External Relations

The Vice President for Advancement and External Relations has overall administrative responsibility for the University’s public information, fund raising, and alumni relations programs. This Vice President develops support for University endowments, scholarships, unrestricted funds, and other projects. The Vice President for Advancement and External Relations works closely with the Tarleton Alumni Association and the Tarleton State University Foundation, Inc., and assists the President in external fundraising.

Executive Director Tarleton University System Center – Central Texas

Tarleton University System Center – Central Texas (Tarleton-CT), under the leadership of the executive director and Tarleton State University, offers junior, senior, and graduate level courses that lead to both baccalaureate and master’s degrees that are currently approved for Tarleton State University. In addition to facilities on the Central Texas College campus, Tarleton-CT shares classrooms and libraries with Fort Hood, Temple College, The Texas A&M University AgriLife Research Center, and the independent school districts of Temple, Copperas Cove, and Killeen. The operation of Tarleton-CT follows the policies and rules established by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, The Texas A&M University System, and Tarleton State University.

Executive Director Texas Institute for Applied Environmental Research

The Texas Institute for Applied Environmental Research (TIAER) conducts scientific research, economic inquiry, and institutional, statutory, and regulatory analyses to address pressing environmental issues facing the state and nation, and assists public entities in the development and implementation of policies that promote environmental quality. Functioning within an open research forum, TIAER seeks to involve all affected parties in developing practical, equitable, and economically feasible solutions to environmental problems.

Executive Director Office of Planning, Evaluation, and Institutional Research

The Office of Planning, Evaluation, and Institutional Research (OPEIR) is responsible for the submission of reports required by The Texas A&M University System, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, the U.S. Department of Education, the Governor’s office, the Legislative Budget Board, and other governmental agencies. Additionally, this office is charged to create and maintain a University strategic plan acceptable to the aforementioned authorities, to coordinate the institutional evaluation function for Tarleton, and to design institutional research strategies by collecting data, statistically analyzing the data, and presenting the data in appropriate and timely reports.

Academic Organization

The University is organized academically into the College of Graduate Studies and five undergraduate colleges with a total of nineteen academic departments. Each college is administered by a dean and each department by a department head.

College of Agriculture and Human Sciences
  • Department of Environmental and Agricultural Management
  • Department of Agricultural and Consumer Sciences
  • Department of Animal Sciences
  • Department of Human Sciences
College of Business Administration
  • Department of Accounting, Finance, and Economics
  • Department of Computer Information Systems
  • Department of Management, Marketing, and Administrative Systems
College of Education
  • Department of Curriculum and Instruction
  • Department of Psychology and Counseling
  • Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies
  • Department of Kinesiology
College of Liberal and Fine Arts
  • Department of English and Languages
  • Department of Fine Arts
  • Department of Communication Studies
  • Department of Social Sciences
  • Department of Social Work, Sociology, and Criminal Justice
College of Science and Technology
  • Department of Biological Sciences
  • Department of Chemistry, Geosciences, and Environmental Science
  • Department of Clinical Laboratory Sciences
  • Department of Engineering Technology
  • Department of Mathematics, Physics, and Engineering
  • Department of Nursing

Other Departments, Programs and Projects

  • Center for Instructional Technology and Distributed Education - coordinates technology-based distance learning initiatives for Tarleton State University; assists faculty in the design, development, and delivery of distance learning courses; supports the systematic use of technology in teaching and learning processes; and facilitates educational collaboration with public and private K-12 schools, colleges, universities, businesses, and communities in order to meet the diverse educational needs of Tarleton's current and future learners.
  • University Library – Tarleton’s libraries in Stephenville and Killeen provide relevant and effective user-centered services, facilities, technologies, collections, and personnel that facilitate the University’s mission.
  • Enrollment Management – comprised of the Admissions, Registrar, School Relations, and Scholarships offices, Enrollment Management is a service oriented organization for perspective and current students whose mission is telling the Tarleton "story" to prospective students, helping them complete the admissions process, helping them obtain scholarships, and helping them through every step of their university experience.
  • General Studies - advises liberal studies and liberal arts majors and all students required to take developmental courses. Students who are subject to TSI requirements and who have not successfully passed all areas of the TSI assessments or students whose Tarleton placement exams indicate the need for developmental courses must be advised by the Division of General Studies.
  • Honors Program – comprised of the Presidential Honors Program and Honors Degrees Program, this program offers intellectually challenging material, innovative approaches to the subject, increased opportunities for honing critical thinking and writing skills, and the opportunity to interact closely with similarly motivated students and with outstanding faculty.
  • International Academic Programs (IAP) – oversees the academic admission process for non-resident international students while maintaining close amiable relationships with Student Life, Scholarship Office, banks, apartment managers, and Social Security Administration. Once international students arrive on campus, the IAP office meets compliance requirements of their non-immigrant status with the Department of Homeland Security from registration through graduation. The IAP Office also works with the International Education Advisory Council for promotion of study abroad programs and exchange visitors.
  • Military Science Department - part of the Army Reserve Officer Training Corps or ROTC commissioning program provides Tarleton State University with a world class leadership development program dedicated to the education and development of ethical, selfless leaders that provide character forged leadership to the nation, local communities, families and the profession of arms.
  • Center for Agribusiness Excellence - provide research, training, and resources for data warehousing and data mining of agribusiness and agriculture data. The CAE provides facilities and staff to make full use of data warehousing and data mining technologies for development of Agribusiness Decision Support Systems and Agricultural Risk Management Products
  • W.K. Gordon Center - a research facility of Tarleton State University, is a combined museum and special collections library. Located at the site of the Thurber ghost town, its interactive exhibits explore the birth and death of a company town.
  • Sponsored Projects – the purpose of the Office of Sponsored Projects is to assist the faculty and staff of Tarleton State University in securing funding for research and public service projects.
  • University Outreach Programs - Tarleton State University operates significant University Outreach programs in the Southwest Metroplex and in Waco. Tarleton is a leading participant in the University Center on the campus of McLennan Community College in Waco. Both graduate and undergraduate degree completion programs are offered at that location. The Tarleton State University Southwest Metroplex Outreach program in delivered in two stand alone Tarleton facilities in Fort Worth (the Hickman building and the Schaffer building), and in classrooms within the Fort Worth ISD, Region XI Service Center, Weatherford College and Hill College-Johnson County in Cleburne. Both graduate and undergraduate degree completion programs are offered at these locations.


Tarleton State University is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award the Associate, Bachelor’s, Master’s and Doctorate degrees.
Southern Association of Colleges and Schools
Commission on Colleges
1866 Southern Lane
Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097
Telephone: (404) 679-4500 FAX: (404) 679-4558
Accreditation is also granted to certain degree programs by the Association of Collegiate Business Schools and Programs, the Texas Education Agency, the National Association of Schools of Music, the Council on Social Work Education, and the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences.

The Texas A&M University System

In 1917, Tarleton became part of what is now The Texas A&M University System. The Texas A&M University System (TAMUS) includes the following:

System Universities

Texas A&M University (Texas A&M) – College Station
Texas A&M University at Galveston (TAMUG)
Texas A&M University at Qatar (TAMUQ) – Doha, Qatar
Prairie View A&M University (PVAMU) – Prairie View
Tarleton State University (Tarleton) – Stephenville
Tarleton University System Center – Central Texas (Tarleton – Central Texas) - Killeen
Texas A&M International University (TAMIU) – Laredo
Texas A&M University – Corpus Christi (A&M – Corpus Christi)
Texas A&M University – Kingsville (Texas A&M - Kingsville)
Texas A&M University – Kingsville System Center – San Antonio (A&M System Center)
West Texas A&M University (WTAMU) – Canyon
Texas A&M University – Commerce (A&M Commerce)
Texas A&M University – Texarkana (A&M Texarkana)

System Agencies

Texas AgriLife Research
Texas AgriLife Extension
Texas Engineering Experiment Station (TEES)
Texas Engineering Extension Service (TEEX)
Texas Forest Service (TFS)
Texas Transportation Institute (TTI)
Texas Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory (TVMDL)

HealthScience Center

Baylor College of Dentistry
College of Medicine
Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences
Institute of Biosciences and Technology
School of Rural Public Health