TLU President Stuart Dorsey to Retire at End of 2018-2019 Academic Year

September 25, 2018

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Dr. Stuart Dorsey, 15th President of Texas Lutheran University, today announced he will retire at the end of the 2018-2019 academic year.

Dr. Dorsey made the announcement at a faculty and staff campus meeting this morning. “After much reflection and prayer, I have concluded that now is the best time for TLU to transition to the next president.”

“I am proud of how far the university has come during my presidency, and believe TLU is poised to enter a new era of growth and success. We have accomplished much of our most recent strategic plan and it is time to set and pursue goals that will move the university to a new period of growth,” said Dr. Dorsey. “That will require a president who can commit to the university for the next decade.”

Lewis Westerman, chair of the TLU Board of Regents and senior director for the Pearl Brewery, LLC and Silver Ventures, Inc. in San Antonio, praised Dr. Dorsey for his significant accomplishments, leadership, and outstanding service to TLU. “President Dorsey and his wife, Michelle, have had a tremendous impact on TLU. The milestones achieved under his leadership touched all of the key measures of a successful, faith-based, liberal arts and sciences university. The warmth and endearing engagement the Dorseys share with all of TLU’s constituencies will be greatly missed, but as with everything else President Dorsey does, I know he will leave his successor with a solid foundation for continued future success.”

Under Dr. Dorsey’s presidency, a new freshmen residence hall/living-learning community was constructed and opened in fall 2012; Bulldog Stadium opened in fall 2014 and for the first time in TLU’s history, football games and track and field events were held on campus; and most recently, the Caroline Weston Center for the Performing Arts opened with a new Studio Theatre in fall 2017 and a new School of Music building in spring 2018. These projects have changed the campus aesthetically and also culturally.

Dr. Dorsey began his presidency at TLU in July 2011 after serving as president of the University of Redlands in Redlands, California. He also held positions as vice president for academic affairs at the University of Evansville in Evansville, Indiana; dean of the faculty at Baker University in Baldwin City, Kansas; and associate professor of economics at West Virginia University in Morgantown, West Virginia. Prior to his positions in higher education, Dr. Dorsey worked for the U.S. Senate Committee on Finance and served as its chief economist from 1982-1984.

In addition to the major construction projects under Dr. Dorsey’s tenure, he also initiated the creation of several new academic programs, including TLU’s first foray into graduate-level programs for accounting, data analytics and athletic training, and a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program that has seen incredible growth since it began in fall 2014 and is now one of TLU’s most popular programs.

Dr. Debbie Cottrell, Vice President for Academic Affairs, credited Dr. Dorsey with strengthening TLU’s academic programs and growing its academic offerings. “Dr. Dorsey’s vision for academic excellence and growth, as well as his intuitive understanding of the academic process, has allowed us to move into new areas that meet the needs of our students and our larger community, while also being attentive to the entire array of academic offerings at TLU. He has consistently encouraged growth and change, while also asking all the right questions and ensuring that our new programs are a good fit for the mission of TLU. Dr. Dorsey has made this process exciting and invigorating, and has never waivered in his support of our academic stability and growth.”

Dr. Dorsey’s other major accomplishments include: increasing the level of donor and alumni support, leading a comprehensive fundraising campaign that has reached a record level, achieving seven consecutive years as a Great College To Work ForÒ, and moving Bulldog athletic programs into the prestigious Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference.

Athletic Director Bill Miller thanked Dr. Dorsey for his support of the TLU Athletics program and for supporting student-athletes. “A worthy goal for anyone is to make a positive difference in the life of someone else. Dr. Dorsey and Michelle have done that at TLU. They have made a difference in the lives of our faculty, staff, and especially our students,” said Miller. “As a former student-athlete, he understands how important the athletic experience is in the educational journey of our student-athletes. He is our number one fan on or off the field or court. He provides the leadership needed to ensure our student-athletes get the positive experience we want them to have. Most importantly, he wants that athletic experience to provide a pathway for each athlete to get a degree. You cannot do much better than that. It’s been a tremendous privilege to have him as our president.”

Kristi Quiros, Vice President and Dean of Student Life & Learning, described the Dorseys strong connection with the student community and how they have “always shared a belief in our students’ abilities, supported our students’ accomplishments, and joyfully celebrated their many successes.”

Michelle has been a powerful presence for students as a mentor, coach, and role model. In 2012, she established the Black & Gold President’s Council, which is a student organization that teaches leadership and professional networking skills to students who represent TLU at numerous social and educational events. “Michelle’s work has helped develop the ‘whole student’ and showed how to bridge learning from the campus into the wider world. Whether it has been Michelle working one-on-one with students or Dr. Dorsey motivating an auditorium full of students, the impact they have had on this community has been deeply felt and meaningful,” said Quiros.

In addition to his work for TLU, Dr. Dorsey has been active in state and national leadership positions, serving as chair of the Independent Colleges and Universities of Texas, and currently is a member of the NCAA Division III President’s Council.

Westerman noted the search for Dorsey’s successor has already begun, and an announcement about the search process will be shared with the TLU community and public very soon. 

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