Longtime Tarleton professor, business college dean retires

Dr. Steve Steed

STEPHENVILLE (May 4, 2018) — Dr. Steve Steed landed at Tarleton State University in 1971, planning to teach a couple of accounting courses before he moved north and into the private sector.

Nearly five decades later, he retires this spring as dean of Tarleton’s College of Business Administration. A public retirement reception will be from 5 to 7 p.m. Tuesday, May 9, at City Hall at City Limits, 1907 E. Washington St., and an endowed scholarship has been created in his honor.

“Sometimes you are blessed to be in the right place at the right time,” he said. “Tarleton was a much different place when I arrived, and I got caught up in the growth and excitement over the years.”

When Steed joined the university, enrollment hovered around 1,700, and the College of Business was on the third floor of the agricultural building in Stephenville. Many students were returning from the Vietnam War or headed that way.

For Steed, it was “a unique time in our history and a very interesting time to be at the university.”

Steed has helped Tarleton navigate decades of change. Enrollment hit a record 13,000 last fall, and the College of Business now offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in accounting, human resource management and computer information systems.

To teach, he first had to overcome an almost paralyzing fear of public speaking. “It took me about a year before I could go to class without feeling sick.”

He was among the first professors at Tarleton to own a computer, which led to a 30-year stint as chairman of the university’s Computer Services Committee. When Tarleton opened its first microcomputer lab in the 1980s, Steed helped get more PCs for the university dollar by convincing participating departments to order unassembled units and put them together on arrival. Faculty members unloaded the truck, received training on assembly — and created three computer labs.

Steed, who was named dean of the College of Business Administration in 2015, said the moments when he reached students are his proudest accomplishments.

“We work in a field where we do not know the real result for a long, long time. But occasionally when you’re working with a student, you see that light come on. It’s a good feeling. Those of us who teach are blessed. Working with young people keeps us young. Our environment is so important.”

Provost Karen Murray, executive vice president of academic affairs, said Steed embodies the university’s core values of tradition, integrity, civility, leadership, excellence and service. “He values education and is a tireless advocate for our students and the community. He will be missed.”

Steed has served the Stephenville community as a board member of Texas Health Resources and the Optimist Club and as a Tarleton volleyball coach. His 17 years with Texas Health Resources inspired research on the availability of healthcare providers in rural Texas counties.

In retirement, he plans to spend time with his wife, Mary, and their three grown children. In addition to his volunteer service, he enjoys welding, woodworking and kayaking.

Make gifts to the Steve Steed College of Business Scholarship Endowment at www.tarleton.edu/steedendowment.

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