Regents Back Tarleton State’s Bold Vision with New Facilities, Programs

STEPHENVILLE, Texas — The Texas A&M University System Board of Regents announced several decisions today that illustrate its commitment to Tarleton State as one of America’s great comprehensive public universities.

The regents approved budget and construction for two new Tarleton facilities; created an institute to spur North Central Texas development and research; and authorized the university to seek Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board approval for two new doctoral programs.

“The regents and Chancellor John Sharp vigorously support our vision to be the premier comprehensive public university in the nation,” said Tarleton President James Hurley. “And they know it is happening because of our exceptional faculty and staff.”

Chancellor Sharp: “Tarleton is going places other universities only dream about. It’s on the move to ignite scholarship, fuel research and turbocharge the economy. We’re proud of that.”

Groundbreaking for the $110 million Tarleton State Events Center, located on the Stephenville campus, is planned this summer with approval for construction to begin in the coming months. Seating nearly 8,000, the two-story multipurpose arena will sport NCAA D-I basketball facilities and room for academic symposiums, conferences, conventions and concerts. Convocations and commencements will have a permanent indoor home, and Stephenville will enjoy increased revenue from community and regional events.

“A major university has a moral and social obligation to deliver an outstanding higher education while spurring regional economic development,” Dr. Hurley said. “We’re doing just that.”

A $7 million Research Administration Building, next door to the Texas A&M AgriLife Center in Stephenville, will create an innovation ecosystem to accelerate sponsored research and strengthen regional partnerships. Tarleton will share the space with AgriLife, and the university’s Small Business Development Center will relocate there, enhancing access to training and support for rural entrepreneurs.

The new Institute for Rural Economic Development and Research will merge discovery and innovation to grow industries and foster job opportunities. Tarleton will work alongside other A&M System institutions, regional universities, start-up companies, business incubators and chambers of commerce to help drive North Central Texas prosperity.

Dr. Hurley: “No university is doing more to boost quality of life and deliver a life-changing education. This has been our commitment for nearly 125 years.”

A green light to seek coordinating board approval for a Doctor of Occupational Therapy and a PhD in applied mathematics puts Tarleton on track to help meet Texas’ surging demand for professionals in healthcare and STEM fields. No other Texas university offers a doctorate in applied mathematics, and only seven have an OTD.

An MS in data science debuts this fall and, pending approval by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, an MS in logistics and supply chain management and an MS in construction science and management are expected. Two more master’s are set to launch in 2024, with another eight and two research doctorates — experimental psychology and integrative biology — in the works for fall 2025. A PhD in animal and natural resource sciences is in coordinating board final review.

A Doctor of Physical Therapy and a Master’s of Medical Sciences in Physician Assistant Studies are slated for spring 2026.

“We are experiencing tremendous growth and momentum due to the incredible support of our stakeholders.” Dr. Hurley said. “As Chancellor Sharp recently noted, we’re in the golden era at Tarleton State, and it’s an honor and a privilege to lead such an outstanding institution.”

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.
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