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President's Biography - Dr. F. Dominic Dottavio

Dr. F. Dominic Dottavio is the fifteenth President of Tarleton State University, a comprehensive university with 6 colleges, 91 majors, more than 1,000 faculty and staff, and more than 10,000 students. 

President Dottavio provides strategic direction and mission-focused leadership for a university with a reputation for quality teaching, research that benefits all citizens, and a caring campus community.  He has assembled a leadership team focused on Tarleton State University’s continual progression to be the premiere student-focused university in Texas.

Since Dr. Dottavio became President in 2008, Tarleton has reached record enrollments, expanded the curriculum, and opened a number of new facilities including the Southwest Regional Dairy Center, the state-of-the-art Nursing Building, and on-campus residence halls to meet the needs of a growing student body.  Tarleton has extended its undergraduate and graduate programs to the Fort Worth, Midlothian and Waco areas.  Well-known by students for being engaged and accessible, Dr. Dottavio resides on campus in the historic Trogdon House; the first Tarleton president to do so since the home’s namesake, President W.O. Trogdon.  His student-centered approach has led to Tarleton’s adoption of six Core Values:  Integrity, Leadership, Tradition, Civility, Excellence and Service; which permeate all layers of the institution and provide development of the whole student.

Dr. Dottavio grew up in Massillon, Ohio and earned a bachelors degree in Natural Resource Management from The Ohio State University, a masters degree in Environmental Studies from Yale University, and a Ph.D. from Purdue University’s College of Agriculture.  He was Regional Chief Scientist for the National Park Service, US Department of the Interior, where he led research programs in coastal zone management, ecosystem restoration, and conservation biology.

Tarleton is Dr. Dottavio’s second university presidency.  He was President of Heidelberg University, a 163-year-old private college in Tiffin, Ohio.  Prior to that, he was Chief Executive Officer of The Ohio State University at Marion and Professor in Ohio State’s College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.   

Dr. Dottavio and his wife Dr. C. Lisette Dottavio, CPA and senior tax accountant, have two grown children: Adrea, their daughter, lives in College Station; and Aaron, their son, wife Lyndsey and grandson Dominic, live in Arizona.