Tarleton State University President James Hurley has been reappointed to the North Texas Commission Executive Committee. A member of the board of directors since 2021, he received the NTC Education Leadership Award last year.
A public-private partnership established in 1971, the commission embraces regional
opportunities to spur economic development, promote innovation and improve quality of life.
“Preparing workforce-ready graduates for today’s market and tomorrow’s careers should be the
heartbeat of any university,” said NTC President and CEO Chris Wallace. “It is for President
James Hurley and Tarleton State.”
Hurley has been in high gear 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 and
membership in the impactful Association of Public and Land-grant Universities.
Tarleton’s new Biotechnology Institute, part of Texas A&M-Fort Worth’s downtown campus,
puts the university in the middle of one of the fastest growing life sciences hotbeds in the
country. And a second facility on Tarleton State’s 80-acre campus in Southwest Fort Worth, set
to open in fall 2024, will expand offerings that address the region’s growing need for healthcare
experts and educators.
The new Institute for Rural Economic Development and Research is merging discovery and
innovation to grow industries and create jobs, and the university breaks ground in November for
a $7 million Research Administration Building in Stephenville that will accelerate sponsored
discovery and strengthen regional partnerships.
Construction is underway for a 148,000-square-foot Event Center in the heart of Tarleton State’s
main campus. One of the largest venues in North Texas, the multipurpose arena will sport
NCAA Division I basketball facilities and rooms for symposiums and conferences, conventions
and concerts, convocations and commencements.
“I am profoundly grateful to serve on the North Texas Commission Board of Directors,” Dr.
Hurley said. “Tarleton State so enjoys giving back to our region. As a national comprehensive
public university, we have a social and economic responsibility to invest in the future of our
students and in the communities we serve.”
Fall 2023 enrollment is up 8.6 percent from a year ago. That’s around 17,000 students, and the
all-time-high increase outpaces many institutions nationwide. The Class of 2027 is the largest
ever — up 11 percent from fall 2022 — with 2,707 enrolled.
Hurley’s creation of partnerships with school districts and two-year colleges —
Distinguished High School Partners and Distinguished College Partners — deepens the
university’s commitment to educational opportunity, accessibility and affordability. Both
programs provide guaranteed scholarships for students meeting qualifications. More than 120
school districts and nine community colleges participate.
Some 2,000 students are earning university credit in agriculture and STEM areas while
completing requirements at Texas high schools. The dual enrollment program, Tarleton Today,
launched this fall.
“John Tarleton envisioned a school whose students empower, improve and make the world a
better place,” Hurley said. “Our work with the North Texas Commission honors his dream.”
A founding member of The Texas A&M System, Tarleton State is breaking records — in
enrollment, research, scholarship, athletics, philanthropy and engagement — while transforming
the lives of more than 16,200 students in Stephenville, Fort Worth, Waco, 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.