Dr. Diana Ortega-Feerick Named VP for Tarleton Student Engagement


STEPHENVILLE — Dr. Diana Ortega-Feerick has been named Vice President for Tarleton State University’s Division of Student Engagement and Success, pending approval by The Texas A&M University System Board of Regents. She has served in an interim role since June.

She came to Tarleton in 2019 as Assistant Vice President for the division and Dean of Students, following more than 20 years in education, with 14 in student affairs. More than half of her career has been dedicated to executive, administrative and senior-level positions in public and private two-year colleges and universities. 

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Dr. Diana Ortega Feerick

Dr. Ortega-Feerick joined Tarleton at the onset of COVID-19 amid intense national racial injustice, and she moved quickly to implement student care and case management teams and temporary disability accommodations. She helped with Tarleton’s transition to remote learning and together, with colleagues, secured a $10,000 grant from the Texas Higher Education Foundation to provide real-time solutions to the needs of the Tarleton family. 

She successfully advocated for policy and program changes, incorporating inclusive language in Tarleton’s student code of conduct. And she was instrumental in creating the first overnight Texan Orientación, an introduction for Hispanic students and their families in Spanish. 

“Dr. Ortega-Feerick’s commitment to the Tarleton family, high energy and proven leadership will accelerate our support of student success in and out of the classroom,” said university President James Hurley. “She has the passion and experience to help ensure that all students are engaged as part of the Tarleton family.”

Before Tarleton, she was Assistant Dean of Student Engagement and Retention at Del Mar College in Corpus Christi, where she played an instrumental role in connecting students, faculty and community agencies. She served as Chief Student Advocate, updating the campus community on trends related to student rights and responsibilities, student development, and student engagement and success. As Assistant Dean of Students she was responsible for the development, interpretation and enforcement of student policies and served as a resource to students, parents, faculty and staff.

Dr. Ortega-Feerick also served the South Texas Vocational Technical Institute in Corpus Christi as Director of Education and spent five years as School Psychologist in the Corpus Christi ISD.

She was selected to participate in the New Leadership Academy Fellowship developed by the National Forum on Higher Education for the Public Good at the University of Michigan (a partnership with the American Association of Hispanics in Higher Education), and she was one of 25 leaders chosen as a National Council on Student Development Leadership Institute Fellow.

“Tarleton’s commitment to student achievement is long-standing, and Dr. Hurley’s commitment to all students is inspiring,” she said. “I am honored and humbled to partner with our students, faculty, staff and leadership across the university to ensure that every Tarleton Texan thrives.”

Dr. Ortega-Feerick holds a doctor of education and a master’s of psychology and education from Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi. She earned her bachelor’s in psychology and criminal justice at St. Edward’s University. 

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.

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