President F. Dominic Dottavio to step down as Tarleton State University’s president

By Lorynne Benavides–––

Copy Editor

After serving 11 years as Tarleton State University’s president, Dr. F. Dominic Dottavio will step down from his position on August 31, according to a press release from the university. Dottavio said it was an honor serving as the university’s 15th president, and that it was not a decision he and his wife, Lisette, came to without mixed emotion.

In an email sent to faculty, staff and students of Tarleton, Dottavio explained that because of significant transitions with the university, it is important to have a new leader with fresh ideas be involved in the next strategic plan. 

“Tarleton is at an important point in its history,” Dottavio said. “We are approaching the end of the 2020 strategic plan, at the beginning of the SACS reaccreditation process, and on the cusp of opening a new campus in Fort Worth… Over the last few years, we’ve expanded our graduate programs significantly, including receiving our first Ph.D. We’ve added new schools, we’ve added new programs, and now offer 100 degrees at the university. Importantly too, we have been a model of student success.” 

Though Dottavio is stepping down from his position, he and Lisette said they will still be involved with the university. 

“It’s important for everyone to know we are not leaving the Tarleton family,” Lisette said. “We look forward to the future, to seeing the core values continue to be a part of this institution, and to see the continued success of our students.” 

Dottavio said he will be on sabbatical, or temporary paid leave according to the Texas A&M University system policy, but then will be back, teaching in the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, a place he’s had an appointment since coming to Tarleton in 2008. 

“Thank you so much for giving us the honor and the privilege of serving in this capacity for the last 11 years,” he said. “Good luck, Godspeed and go Texans.” For more information, see the full press release at and to see the video message from Drs. Dominic and Lisette Dottavio, visit

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