17th President of Texas Tech University
Ph.D. Indiana University (1982)
M.S. Texas A&M University (1977)
B.S. Phillips University (1975)
“I am grateful for the opportunity to once again lead this wonderful university, to which I have devoted my career, and continue to work alongside so many talented faculty, staff and students who make Texas Tech University a leader in higher education.”
Opening of Texas Tech University Costa Rica
Presidential Teaching and Research Excellence Professorships Established
Increase in merit and need-based scholarships in first year
Lawrence Schovanec, who served as interim president for nine months in 2012 and 2013, shared these words upon being named the 16th president of Texas Tech University in July 2016. After 32 years on the South Plains, his commitment to the students as an educator and to faculty and staff as a university leader has never been more apparent.
This vision for the university has guided Schovanec throughout his 32-year career at Texas Tech, which began as an assistant professor in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics and where he eventually served nearly 10 years as the chair of that department. He subsequently was appointed as the dean of the university's largest college, the College of Arts and Sciences. His administration as both as chair and dean was noted for record attainments in enrollment, research funding and philanthropic support. In these roles he emphasized the importance of teaching excellence and scholarship, as well as outreach and engagement.
After a short term as interim provost, Schovanec was named university provost in January 2014, a position he held until being named president after a national search. As the university's chief academic officer Schovanec instituted an initiative to improve student success that helped Texas Tech achieve record retention rates in fall 2016. To promote transparency in the budget process, he initiated annual college budget hearings. The Office of TTU Worldwide eLearning was created to enhance the quality and availability of online courses for both residential and nonresidential students. The Center for Humanities was established and Texas Tech was successfully reaffirmed for accreditation through 2025. As provost, he coordinated the initial planning for the establishment of Texas Tech University Costa Rica, an endeavor that was finalized shortly after he assumed the role of president.
In his first year as president, merit and need based scholarship support was increased by $8 million dollars, which contributed to a fall 2017 freshman class that was distinguished by a record number of national merit finalists and presidential scholars, and whose diversity helped Texas Tech meet the benchmarks necessary to apply for status as a Hispanic Serving Institution. As part of Schovanec's and Texas Tech's commitment to its core missions, 50 Presidential Teaching and Research Excellence Professorships were established.
An Oklahoma native, Schovanec received a bachelor of science in mathematics from Phillips University in 1975 and a master of science in mathematics from Texas A&M in 1977. He earned his Ph.D. in mathematics from Indiana University in 1982.
Schovanec's wife, Patty, is an instructor and advisor in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics. They have two sons, Tyler and Cory.