Tarleton names Leese student affairs VP for second time

Leese Named Vice President of Student Affairs

Leese Named Vice President of Student Affairs

Thursday, May 24, 2018

STEPHENVILLE, Texas — Dr. Mike Leese has been appointed vice president of Tarleton State University’s Division of Student Affairs, effective June 18. Currently associate vice president for the division, he will serve until his retirement at year’s end.

Leese started his Tarleton career in 1969, fulfilling a variety of capacities, including nine years as vice president for student affairs, before accepting a position at Texas A&M University, then serving as associate vice president and dean of students at Southwestern University in Georgetown. He returned to Tarleton in 2012 as executive director of student affairs development.

“With almost five decades in higher education, Dr. Leese has the knowledge, experience and creativity we need to prepare today’s students to be tomorrow’s leaders,” said Tarleton President F. Dominic Dottavio. “As an alumnus, he is familiar with the university and passionate about helping us create a truly transformative educational experience for all Tarleton Texans.”

As vice president of the Division of Student Affairs, Leese will be responsible for residence life, student involvement, tradition and spirit, health services, student counseling, student publications, campus recreation, academic support initiatives, diversity and inclusion, student marketing and communications, campus life, leadership development and community services, Greek Life, rodeo, university police and parking, judicial affairs, student services, facilities and special events, and student affairs development and outreach.

“It is both an honor and a challenge to end my 49-year career in higher education where it all began as a college student and university administrator,” Leese said. “Experiencing Tarleton’s growth from 1,400 students to more than 13,000, and especially the last few years under President Dottavio’s leadership, has been amazing.”

Leese holds a bachelor’s degree in political science and a master’s degree in public administration from Tarleton. He earned his doctorate in higher education administration from Texas A&M University.

In addition to his administrative duties, he has taught social psychology, political science and student leadership. He received the Tarleton Alumni Association’s Distinguished Faculty/Staff Award in 1995.

Leese and his wife, Sena, are actively involved in the Stephenville community, especially with her leadership in Backpack Buddies of Erath County as well as with the First United Methodist Church. They have two grown children, Brad and Noelle — who spent much of their childhood on the Stephenville campus in two houses where the Honors Hall now stands — and three grandchildren.

For more information on Tarleton State University’s Division of Student Affairs, visit www.tarleton.edu/StudentAffairs.

Tarleton, founding member of The Texas A&M University System, provides a student-focused, value-driven educational experience, marked by academic innovation and a dedication to transform today’s scholars into tomorrow’s leaders. Offering degree programs in Stephenville, Fort Worth, Waco, Midlothian and online to more than 13,000 students, Tarleton engages with communities through real-world learning experiences to address societal needs while maintaining its core values of integrity, leadership, tradition, civility, excellence and service.


Contact: Cecilia Jacobs, Interim Assistant Vice President for Marketing & Communications
[email protected]

A founding member of The Texas A&M University System, Tarleton is breaking records — in enrollment, research, scholarship, athletics, philanthropy and engagement — while transforming the lives of more than 15,000 students in Stephenville, Fort Worth, Waco, Midlothian, A&M RELLIS at 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.