Dr. Michael Mathis Named Dean of Tarleton State Graduate College

Dr. Michael Mathis

STEPHENVILLE, Texas — Dr. Michael Mathis has been named Dean of Tarleton State University’s College of Graduate Studies, effective Nov. 1, pending approval by The Texas A&M University System.

He previously served the University of North Texas Health Science Center in Fort Worth as Dean of the School of Biomedical Sciences, where he saw enrollment increase almost 60 percent. Under his leadership, UNTHSC introduced its first undergraduate degree program and established a state-of-the-art preclinical imaging facility. 

“Dr. Mathis’ experience developing graduate programs and his focus on student success make him the right person in this vital role,” said Dr. Diane Stearns, Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs. “The ability to attract leaders of Dr. Mathis’ caliber reflects Tarleton State’s growing prominence among America’s great institutions.”

In addition to increasing visibility of Tarleton State’s graduate programs, Dr. Mathis will work with North Central Texas business and industry leaders, Tarleton faculty and staff, and community and educational partners to expand existing degree offerings and add new ones. 

Tarleton State currently offers 37 graduate degree options and plans to launch a PhD in animal and natural sciences in fall 2024, pending review by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. Additional doctoral programs, including a Doctor of Occupational Therapy and PhDs in applied mathematics, experimental psychology and integrative biosciences, are in the works for 2025. 

A Master of Medical Sciences in physician assistant studies is planned for spring 2026, and a Doctor of Physical Therapy is slated for spring 2027. 

Enrollment in Tarleton doctoral programs is up 26 percent since 2018, and enrollment in master’s offerings has increased 18 percent. An MS in data science debuts this fall, and an MS in construction science and management awaits SACSCOC endorsement. An MS in logistics and supply chain management begins spring 2024, with eight more master’s degree programs to start before fall 2025.

“Tarleton State has become a leading institution in graduate education and research,” Dr. Mathis said. “I am fully committed to its mission of fostering student opportunities and spurring regional growth. My goal is to fortify partnerships and academic programs that resonate with the North Central Texas workforce and economy.”

Before joining UNTHSC, Dr. Mathis dedicated more than 20 years to the Louisiana State University System, with key administrative roles in Baton Rouge and Shreveport. More than 100 scholarly publications highlight his academic career. 

He holds a PhD in biochemistry from the UT Southwestern Medical Center, an EdD in higher education administration from the University of Alabama, an MHA from LSU in Shreveport and a bachelor’s in chemistry from Texas A&M University.

A founding member of The Texas A&M System, Tarleton State is breaking records — in enrollment, research, scholarship, athletics, philanthropy and engagement — while transforming the lives of nearly 17,000 students in Stephenville, Fort Worth, Waco, Bryan and online. True to Tarleton’s values of excellence, integrity and respect, academic programs emphasize real world learning and address regional, state and national needs.