The Texas A&M University System Board of Regents honored Dr. F. Dominic Dottavio with the title President Emeritus. He is stepping down Aug. 31 after 11 years as the 15th president of Tarleton State University.

The title of President Emeritus is reserved for individuals who have made significant contributions to the A&M System through long and distinguished service in administration while holding the position of president. 

“Dominic Dottavio is one of the best presidents of any university in the state,” said Texas A&M System Chancellor John Sharp. “He has given us more than a decade of exceptional service and leadership, inspiring, encouraging and engaging others to do more and become more. Dominic is an influential and enthusiastic leader.

“Tarleton’s transformation over the past decade is evidence of his passion for higher education and his commitment to helping students realize their academic dreams. I applaud our Board of Regents in naming Dr. Dottavio as President Emeritus.”

During Dottavio’s 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 and Midlothian thanks to partnerships with other colleges and universities. A recent report lists Tarleton seventh among the top 100 schools in America in application growth with an increase of 131.4 percent since 2012. The A&M System recognizes the university as a model for increasing retention and graduation rates — up 60 percent in the last five years.

Tarleton has added more than 35 academic programs since 2008, along with a College of Health Sciences and Human Services, a School of Nursing, a School of Kinesiology, a School of Engineering, and a School of Criminology, Criminal Justice and Strategic Studies. Its first Ph.D. — a doctor of philosophy in criminal justice — begins this fall.

Donations to Tarleton have increased 78 percent under Dottavio’s leadership, and the university’s endowment is up 81 percent.