STEPHENVILLE (May 7, 2019) — Tarleton State University President F. Dominic Dottavio was honored last month with a resolution in the House of Representatives of the 86th Texas Legislature.
Reps. Craig Goldman, DeWayne Burns and J.D. Sheffield authored the resolution.
After 11 years of distinguished leadership, Dottavio will step down as president at the end of August. Following a short sabbatical, he will be a faculty member in Tarleton’s College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, where he has had an appointment as a tenured professor since coming to the university. He also will assist the Division of Institutional Advancement.
“President Dottavio is one of the most dedicated and engaged university presidents in Texas,” Goldman said. “I greatly appreciate his commitment to establishing the first public university in Fort Worth.”
The resolution — HR 1049 — outlines several highlights of Dottavio’s career.
• During his tenure, Tarleton’s enrollment has grown almost 70 percent, from just under 8,000 students to more than 13,000, and high-demand academic programs are now offered in Fort Worth, Waco, Midlothian and Bryan thanks to partnerships with other colleges and universities. A recent report lists the university seventh among the top schools in America in application growth with an increase of 131.4 percent since 2012. The Texas A&M University System recognizes Tarleton as a model for increasing retention and graduation rates — up 60 percent over the last five years.
• Tarleton has added more than 30 academic programs since 2008, along with a College of Health Sciences and Human Services, a School of Nursing, a School of Engineering, a School of Kinesiology, and a School of Criminology, Criminal Justice and Strategic Studies.
• Tarleton’s first Ph.D. — a doctor of philosophy in criminal justice — is scheduled to begin this fall, increasing the university’s degree offerings to 100.
• Donations to Tarleton have increased 78 percent under Dottavio’s leadership, and the university’s endowment is up 81 percent. Tarleton opens the first building of its planned Fort Worth campus in August, thanks to a gift of 80 acres along the Chisholm Trail Parkway and the support of city leaders, state legislators and the A&M regents. The second phase of the campus — buildings to shape a formal quad — is expected to accommodate an enrollment approaching 6,000 students. Construction plans are under way.
• In addition to Tarleton’s home in Fort Worth, Dottavio has worked with elected and A&M officials on more than $400 million in construction and expansion projects, including a $54 million Engineering Building set to open this summer and a $26.4 million expansion and renovation of Memorial Stadium.
Dottavio came to Tarleton from the presidency of Heidelberg University, a 169-year-old private college in Tiffin, Ohio. Prior to that, he led the Marion campus of Ohio State University.
Tarleton, founding member of The Texas A&M University System, provides a student-focused, value-driven education marked by academic innovation and a dedication to transform today’s scholars into tomorrow’s leaders. It offers degree programs to more than 13,000 students at Stephenville, Fort Worth, Waco, Midlothian, RELLIS Academic Alliance in Bryan, and online, emphasizing real-world learning experiences that address societal needs while maintaining its core values of tradition, integrity, civility, excellence, leadership and service.