Tarleton State University President James Hurley has been appointed to the North Texas Commission board of directors. NTC is a public-private partnership established in 1971 to address regional challenges and opportunities to spur economic development, promote innovation and improve quality of life.
Hurley became Tarleton’s 16th president in fall 2019.
“Dr. Hurley is a visionary who understands the strong tie between education and economic vitality,” said NTC President and CEO Chris Wallace. “Preparing students for today’s market and tomorrow’s careers should be the guiding star for any North Texas university. It is for James Hurley and Tarleton.”
Hurley’s 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, launch of the university’s largest capital campaign, and a move to NCAA Division I as a member of the Western Athletic Conference, Tarleton said in a news release.
In 2020 Hurley established the Center for Research, Innovation and Economic Development and the Texas Rural Research and Innovative Alliance. He has been named in Fort Worth Inc.’s 400 most influential leaders in North Texas.
“I am profoundly grateful to serve on the North Texas Commission Board of Directors,” Hurley said. “Tarleton takes great pleasure in giving back to the region we proudly call home. As a public institution of higher education we have a social and economic responsibility to invest in the future of our students and in the communities we serve. If we educate students in North Texas, they will stay in North Texas, and North Texas will prosper.”
Construction of a second building on Tarleton’s 80-acre campus in southwest Fort Worth – set to begin in 2022 – will take the university’s nationally recognized education and health care programs to the next level and help meet regional demand for skilled nurses, medical laboratory scientists, public health professionals, and classroom teachers and school administrators, the news release said.
With additional buildings, the Fort Worth campus could accommodate 9,000 students by 2030.
Tarleton scored all-time-high enrollment for the third consecutive term this spring. Current numbers are up 6.46 percent over spring 2020, fall enrollment increased 6.42 percent, and summer 2020 saw a 10.19 percent growth over the previous year.
Tarleton said 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 122-year commitment to educational attainment and affordability.
Both programs provide guaranteed scholarships for students meeting qualifications. More than 70 school districts and nine community colleges are participants, with others expected this year.