About Dr. James Hurley

Hurley Portrait

Dr. James Hurley began his tenure as Tarleton State University’s 16th President in August 2019, leading the institution to unprecedented heights. Since his arrival, Tarleton has elevated its academics, research, enrollment, retention rates, graduation rates, diversity, fundraising and athletics.

Under Dr. Hurley’s leadership, the university created and implemented Tarleton Forward 2030: Our Future-Focused Strategic Plan, a blueprint for becoming the premier comprehensive regional university in the nation. During his time, Tarleton has become one of the country’s fastest growing public universities.

His signature accomplishments include robust enrollment growth, innovative student funding models, accelerated degree completion, vigorous partnerships with high schools and community colleges, enhanced research initiatives, improved operational efficiency, and collaborations with business and community stakeholders. Additionally, Dr. Hurley launched the largest-ever comprehensive capital campaign in Tarleton’s history. Forward Together has shattered fundraising records and already eclipsed $100 million in philanthropic support, trending two years ahead of schedule toward its $125 million 2024 target…

Meet the First Lady

First Lady Kindall Hurley

Tarleton State University’s 16th First Lady, Kindall Hurley, takes an active role in supporting her husband’s vision to see the school become the premier comprehensive regional institution in the nation. She is an enthusiastic Tarleton ambassador, whether hosting activities at the Hurley home — the Trogdon House in the heart of the Stephenville campus — attending community and university events, or raising funds for the Tarleton Forever Capital Campaign.

A champion for education, Mrs. Hurley is passionate about students and their success and well-being. She earned her MBA at the University of Tennessee, and she completed a master’s in educational leadership and a specialist degree in educational administration at Lincoln Memorial University. She holds a bachelor’s degree in education from East Tennessee State University.

Meet Executive Leadership

The Trogdon House

For most of a century Tarleton State University’s Trogdon House has been a hub of activity and tradition in Stephenville.

The two-story building, a stately 4,500 square feet, sits at the heart of the campus, between the O.A Grant Building, the E.J. Howell Education Building and the Dick Smith Library.

Built in 1923, it has housed university presidents starting with its builder and architect, Dean J. Thomas Davis, who shared the dwelling with his family until he turned over the reins of power in 1948.

President’s Staff/Contact

Baker Credence 2022
Dr. Credence Baker

Chief of Staff and Vice President of University Relations

Email:[email protected]
Phone:(254) 968-9100

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Ms. Tauna Bertsch

Executive Assistant to the President

Email:[email protected]
Phone:(254) 968-9921

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MS. LAUREN GILLESPIE

Executive Assistant

Email:[email protected]
Phone:(254) 968-9749


While the president openly accepts the vast majority of invitations that are requested, frequent declines to invitations due to calendar conflicts are possible. The President’s Office attempts to accommodate most requests that support the mission of the university and appreciates your patience with the president’s complex calendar.