Texas State University president to retire at end of school year after 20 years

Texas State University President Denise Trauth.
Texas State University President Denise Trauth.

Sign up for The Brief, our daily newsletter that keeps readers up to speed on the most essential Texas news.

Texas State University President Denise Trauth is stepping down at the end of the academic year after nearly two decades leading the San Marcos campus.

Trauth announced Friday during the university’s faculty and staff convocation that she is planning to leave the job.

“It was not an easy decision, but after almost 20 wonderful years in this position, I have decided it is time to move on to the next chapter of my life,” Trauth wrote in an email to the campus community. “[T]here are no adequate words to describe the affection I have for Texas State and the first-rate people I have met and worked with here. Together, we have set our university on an incredible trajectory that will continue to serve our students, our community, and our state well into the future.”

Trauth came to Texas State from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. As president, she oversaw the university’s push to become a nationally recognized research university. Texas State is one of eight Texas Emerging Research Universities and was classified as a “R2: Doctoral University—Higher Research Academy” by the Carnegie Classification system.

Under her tenure, Texas State also became designated as a Hispanic Serving Institution, defined by the U.S. Department of Education as having 25% or more total undergraduate Hispanic or Latino full-time equivalent student enrollment. In fall 2020, 39% of students who enrolled were Hispanic, compared to 18% in 2004.

The university came under scrutiny in 2019 when the U.S. education department found the school had misreported campus crime statistics. It has since taken steps to overhaul how it tracks crime on campus.

System Chancellor Brian McCall said in a press release that Trauth leaves an “extraordinary legacy.”

“During her 20 years as president, she has overseen an era of unprecedented growth, expanded and improved two campuses, elevated the university’s research status, and led its evolution from a regional institution to one of statewide and national prominence,” McCall said.

A spokesperson for McCall said the chancellor would likely announce steps to begin the search for a new president in the next couple weeks.

Join us Sept. 20-25 at the 2021 Texas Tribune Festival. Tickets are on sale now for this multi-day celebration of big, bold ideas about politics, public policy and the day’s news, curated by The Texas Tribune’s award-winning journalists. Learn more.