Skip to page content
Return to Top

1 Introduction to the University


Tarleton will be the premier student-focused university in Texas and beyond. We will transform generations by inspiring discovery, leadership and service through exceptional teaching and research in vibrant learning communities.


Tarleton State University provides an academically challenging education where learning is grounded in real-world experiences and effective teaching, research, scholarship and service. As a member of The Texas A&M University System, Tarleton is rich in history and tradition while being committed to student success and diversity. Tarleton strives to develop moral and ethical thinkers, scholars, and leaders who demonstrate civility and integrity, while contributing meaningfully and responsibly to a global society.

Core Values

  • Integrity
  • Leadership
  • Tradition
  • Civility
  • Excellence
  • Service

Tarleton's strategic plan web page, which outlines our mission, vision, and core values, can be accessed at

Purpose and Role

Established by a $100,000 bequest of John Tarleton, an Erath County pioneer, John Tarleton College opened in 1899 as a private preparatory school and college for the youth of the surrounding rural region. In 1917, the Texas Legislature placed the college in the state system of the Agricultural and Mechanical College, which would later become The Texas A&M University System. John Tarleton Agricultural College, as renamed by the Legislature, retained the two-year degree as well as the preparatory program and specialized in agriculture, home economics, and military training. In 1949, it was named Tarleton State College. In 1973, the Texas Legislature recognized the institution as a university and the name officially changed to Tarleton State University. To meet the needs of a changing constituency, Tarleton has continued to adjust and enrich its curriculum. Tarleton is comprised of several campuses and facilities including Stephenville, Fort Worth, and Thurber. Also, Tarleton has University Outreach Centers at McLennan Community College in Waco, Hill College in Cleburne, Navarro College in Midlothian, and Weatherford College in Weatherford.

As a comprehensive public university, Tarleton is the educational, scientific, and cultural center for the rapidly growing greater north central Texas area and provides educational programs that feature teaching excellence, faculty and student research, and student services.

The university's current Carnegie Classification is categorized as Master's Colleges and Universities (Larger Programs).

Tarleton State University Administrative Organization

President and Chief Executive Officer

The president of Tarleton is also its chief executive officer. As chief executive officer, the president administers all aspects of Tarleton's operations. In addition to the daily activities of the university, the president provides recommendations to the chancellor and Board of Regents associated with the strategic operation of the university. To assist with the accomplishment of these duties and activities, the president has established an executive leadership cabinet. The Executive Leadership Cabinet is comprised of the following members:

  • Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs
  • Vice President for Finance and Administration
  • Vice President for Student Affairs
  • Vice President for Institutional Advancement
  • Chief of Staff

Additionally, the athletics director reports to the president.

More information on the president is available on Tarleton's webpage at

Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs

The provost and executive vice president for academic affairs is the chief academic officer of the university and is responsible for the operation of all academic programs and other programs and activities related to academics. The provost has three teams that are used to ensure university success:

  • Academic Council Executive Team
  • Dean's Council
  • Provost Council

More information on the provost's office may be viewed at

Vice President for Finance and Administration

The vice president for finance and administration (VPFA) is the chief financial officer of the institution. Additionally the VPFA supports the university's mission through the various departments comprising this division. Information on the division can be found at 

Vice President for Student Affairs

The Vice President for Student Affairs (VPSA) is responsible for the planning, administration, and coordination of services and programs that make students' experiences at Tarleton more fulfilling personally, socially, and academically. The Division of Student Affairs 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 VPSL can be found at

Vice President for Institutional Advancement

The vice president for Institutional Advancement has overall administrative responsibility for the university's public information, fund raising, and alumni relations programs. This position develops support for university endowments, scholarships, unrestricted funds, and other projects. The Division of Institutional Advancement works closely with the Tarleton Alumni Association and the Tarleton State University Foundation, Inc., and assists the president in external fundraising. Information about the Division of Institutional Advancement is available at

Tarleton State University Academic Organization

The university is organized academically into the College of Graduate Studies and five undergraduate colleges and various academic departments. Each college is administered by a dean and each department by a department head. Information on the components of academic affairs can be found at the following webpages.

College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences
College of Business Administration
College of Education
College of Liberal and Fine Arts
College of Science and Technology

Academic Programs


Tarleton is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award the associate, bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees. Colleges, departments, and programs may have additional accreditations.

More information on Tarleton's accreditations can be found at