Tarleton State University names VP for Diversity

Sherri Benn

Following a rigorous national search, Sherri Benn, Ph.D., has been named Tarleton State University’s inaugural Vice President for Diversity, Inclusion and International Programs, effective Oct. 11.

As a member of the President’s Executive Cabinet, Benn will play a crucial role in cultivating a climate that encourages diversity and inclusion throughout the Tarleton community, aligning with the university’s core values and 10-year strategic plan, the university said in the announcement.

“We are honored to welcome an innovator like Dr. Benn,” said Tarleton President James Hurley. “Our path to become the premier comprehensive university in the country requires an inclusive learning and working environment. I’m confident she will lead the way.”

Benn began her 20-year career at Texas State University in the Dean of Students Office and served as an adjunct faculty member for eight years, advancing to Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs and her current role as Assistant VP for Institutional Inclusive Excellence.

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At Tarleton she will lead the Joe R. and Dr. Teresa Lozano Long Office of Diversity, Inclusion and International Programs, supporting students from almost three dozen countries, 43 states and 228 Texas counties.

The university said she will  help create policies, programs and events that celebrate and embrace the entire Tarleton family.

“Tarleton is on the move, advancing its reputation as a destination campus for students, faculty and staff, while demonstrating an intentional commitment to inclusive excellence,” Benn said. “I am excited about joining the Texan family. This is an amazing opportunity to contribute to the great work already being done and the legacy of academic accessibility and excellence within a student-centric community.”

She holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology and master’s in education administration from Texas State University. She earned her Ph.D. in higher education administration at UT Austin.