17th President of Texas Tech University
Since Dr. Lawrence Schovanec was named president in 2016, Texas Tech University has seen record levels of enrollment, student retention, degrees awarded and research expenditures, as well as pivotal accomplishments reflecting the university's commitment to research and outreach to communities and industry.
A historic benchmark in Texas Tech's history and in veterinary care in the state of Texas was achieved in May 2019 when the Texas Legislature and Gov. Greg Abbott approved the establishment of the Texas Tech School of Veterinary Medicine. The School of Veterinary Medicine, the first in the state in more than a century, will create new opportunities for students in Texas and help address a critical statewide need for veterinarian care, especially in the large-animal industry and in rural areas of the state.
Texas Tech was formally designated as a Hispanic-Serving Institution in 2019, after meeting the criteria for application in 2017, and is one of 15 Carnegie Tier One Research institutions to achieve this distinction. In December 2018, the university was recognized with a Carnegie Very High Research Activity designation, reaffirming its first appearance among the nation's top doctoral granting universities in 2015.
The university also was one of four institutions in the nation to be named as a recipient of the 2018 W.K. Kellogg Foundation Community Engagement Scholarship Award, which qualified Texas Tech as a finalist for the national C. Peter Magrath Community Engagement Scholarship Award, presented annually by the Association of Public and Land Grant Universities. The university was also recognized by NAFSA as a recipient of the 2018 Sen. Paul Simon Award for Comprehensive Internationalization.
Schovanec, who received his doctorate in mathematics from Indiana University, has emphasized student success and scholarship support. Since being appointed president, Texas Tech has increased merit- and need-based scholarships by $15 million, which contributed to a fall 2019 freshman class that was distinguished by a record number of National Merit Finalists, Presidential Scholars and first-generation students. In support of Texas Tech's commitment to both its educational and research missions, Schovanec has established 50 Presidential Teaching and Research Excellence Professorships.
Texas Tech continues to increase and improve its infrastructure during Schovanec's tenure. Since his appointment Texas Tech has dedicated or started construction of new facilities that represent an investment of more than $300M. This includes a new Honors Residence Hall, and Experimental Sciences Building, and major renovation of the university theatre. Texas Tech has also established Texas Tech University at Costa Rica (TTU-CR), an endeavor that was finalized shortly after he assumed the role of president. The TTU-CR campus hosted its first class in fall 2018.
President Schovanec serves on the Executive Committee of the Board of Directors of the Texas International Educational Consortium and as Vice Chair of the Big 12 Board of Directors Executive Committee.