Changing of the guard

Texas State taps Arkansas State chancellor as new university president

Texas State taps Arkansas State chancellor as new university president

Kelly Damphouse TSU
Kelly R. Damphousse, PhD., will become the 10th president of Texas State University on July 1. Courtesy of Texas State University

For the first time in two decades, Texas State University in San Marcos is getting a new president.

The Board of Regents for the Texas State University System unanimously approved hiring Kelly R. Damphousse, PhD., as the 10th president of Texas State. He will succeed Dr. Denise Truth, who is retiring, on July 1.

Before being confirmed as president of Texas State, Dr. Damphousse said that being able to build on the “tremendous trajectory that President Trauth has established would be a great honor.”

Dr. Damphousse has been chancellor of Arkansas State University since 2017. He previously was associate dean, interim dean, and dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Oklahoma. Before that, he was an assistant professor at the University of Alabama at Birmingham and Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, about 70 miles north of Houston.

Dr. Damphousse earned a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Sam Houston State, and master’s and doctoral degrees in Sociology from Texas A&M University. Sam Houston State is part of the Texas State University System.

In March, when Dr. Damphousse was named the sole finalist for the Texas State post, Brian McCall, chancellor of the Texas State University System, described Dr. Damphousse as “a respected university and community leader who possesses the knowledge, experience, and passion to lead Texas State to new levels of achievement and success.”

Dr. Trauth announced her resignation last August. She became president of Texas State in 2002. Dr. Trauth made the retirement decision before being diagnosed with breast cancer.

During Dr. Trauth’s tenure, the university has grown its enrollment, stature, and physical presence. For instance, Texas State’s 2021-22 freshman class set an enrollment record, with 6,600 new students. To help accommodate growth, the university last year launched a $250 million fundraising campaign.

Texas State’s main campus is in San Marcos, which was recently ranked No. 28 among the 30 best college towns in the U.S., according to financial news and opinion website 24/7 Wall St. Texas State also operates a satellite campus in Round Rock.