Tarleton President Hurley Appointed to NTC Executive Committee

Tarleton President James Hurley has been appointed to the North Texas Commission Executive Committee.

STEPHENVILLE — Tarleton State University President James Hurley has been appointed to the North Texas Commission Executive Committee following his year of service on the NTC Board of Directors.

A public-private partnership established in 1971, the NTC champions the North Texas region and works to ensure that state and federal policies promote strong local governments, support excellence in public schools, increase the skilled workforce pipeline and safeguard a thriving business environment.

As part of the NTC Executive Committee, Dr. Hurley will serve alongside 25 North Texas leaders representing both the public and private sectors. The Executive Committee serves as the steering committee for the commission. Aided by NTC staff, the Executive Committee provides policy recommendations and advises the Board of Directors on initiatives that advance all of North Texas. 

“Dr. Hurley’s bold vision for education, research and economic vitality is transforming our region,” said NTC President and CEO Chris Wallace. “Preparing students for today’s market and tomorrow’s careers should be the heartbeat of any North Texas university. It is for President Hurley and Tarleton.”

Dr. Hurley hasn’t slowed down since becoming Tarleton’s 16th president in fall 2019. His signature initiatives include powerful enrollment growth, creative student funding, vigorous partnerships with high schools and community colleges, innovative research, robust partnerships with businesses and community stakeholders, and a move to NCAA Division I as a member of the Western Athletic Conference.

Under his leadership, Tarleton has earned the elevated designation of Doctoral Universities High Research Activity by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education, putting it among only 132, or 4 percent, of universities across the country so recognized.

He created the President’s Excellence in Research Scholars program to fund ($2 million so far) the life-changing breakthroughs of Tarleton professors and student researchers, everything from grassland revitalization to pain management. Exploration on ways food-grade materials can improve water quality is gaining international attention, and the number of Tarleton research centers and institutes now totals 14 with the recent creation of a biotechnology program.

This spring the university broke ground for a second building on its 80-acre campus in Southwest Fort Worth. With 100,000 square feet of classroom and laboratory space, the Interprofessional Education Building will help expand Tarleton’s nationally recognized health sciences, kinesiology and education programs. Move-in is set for 2024.

The newly realigned College of Health Sciences in Stephenville is set to improve access to quality healthcare in North Texas. The rebranded college includes Tarleton’s nationally recognized School of Nursing and School of Kinesiology and the inaugural School of Health and Service Professions.

In its special session last fall, the 87th Legislature approved $65 million to construct and outfit a new College of Health Sciences building and $25 million to expand Tarleton’s Fort Worth campus. A $2 million appropriation in spring 2021 will develop new physical therapy, occupational therapy and physician assistant programs.

“I am profoundly grateful to serve on the North Texas Commission Executive Committee,” Dr. Hurley said. “Tarleton takes great pleasure in giving back to the region we proudly call home. Investing in the future of our students and in the communities we serve is in our DNA.”

While enrollment at many colleges nationwide remains depressed, Tarleton continues to set records. This spring’s enrollment was up 6.6 percent from before COVID, and applications for fall 2022 are up 16 percent over a year ago.

Dr. Hurley’s creation of partnerships with regional school districts and two-year colleges — Distinguished High School Partners and Distinguished College Partners — deepens the university’s 123-year commitment to educational opportunity and affordability. Both programs provide guaranteed scholarships for students meeting qualifications. More than 100 school districts and nine community colleges participate, with others expected this year.

“John Tarleton dreamed of a comprehensive regional university where anyone who wants a higher education can receive one,” Dr. Hurley said. “Our work with the North Texas Commission keeps that dream very much alive.”

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