UT Tyler

UT Tyler 40th Anniversary

Dr. Rodney H. Mabry

1998 – present

As the third and current president of The University of Texas at Tyler, Dr. Mabry has created a university that has been recognized for its unprecedented growth, and he has been acknowledged for his leadership and vision.

A native of Paducah, Kentucky, he earned bachelor’s degree in commerce from the University of Kentucky and a Ph.D. in economics from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He also received a College Management Certificate from Carnegie Mellon University.

Dr. Mabry came to UT Tyler with 25 years of experience in higher education, most recently as the dean of the College of Business Administration at the University of Tulsa.

UT Tyler admitted its first freshman class in fall 1998.

After careful analysis and planning, Dr. Mabry led the creation of the New Millennium Vision, a 10-year strategic plan for UT Tyler to become a major university. That plan dictated the growth in enrollment, academic programs, research and facilities.

Research initiatives grew to more than $12 million and permanent university endowments reached a market value of more than $33 million. Under his leadership, the College of Engineering was accredited by ABET.

Now in his 13th year as president, he is preparing for more progress focusing on global awareness and technology.

Achievements During His Presidency:

  • Increased freshman admits from an initial 50 students to a record 600 students.
  • Increased overall enrollment to almost 6,500 students.
  • Implemented intercollegiate athletics, which has grown to 15 NCAA Division III programs.
  • Led the university through 11 major construction projects.
    • Longview University Center
    • Riter Millennium Carillon Tower and Plaza (at the time the largest carillon in Texas and one of 20 largest in the nation)
    • Herrington Patriot Center
    • David G. and Jacqueline M. Braithwaite Building
    • Bill Ratliff Engineering and Sciences Complex
    • Patriot Village student apartments (second student housing facility)
    • UT Tyler Ballpark and Irwin Baseball Field
    • Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Z. Ornelas Residence Hall (third student housing facility)
    • University Center Addition
    • University Center Renovation
    • Dr. Lee Roy and Lucy Mathis Hall (Palestine Campus)
  • Created the presidential and alumni scholarship program for community/junior college transfer students.
  • Established UT Tyler’s first Ph.D. programs in nursing and human resource development.
  • Established the Braithwaite Endowed Faculty Chair.
  • Established civil engineering, construction management and nurse practitioner degree programs.


  • In 1998, Dr. Mabry was named to the board of directors of the American Association of University Administrators.
  • He served on the Committee on Professional Development of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities.
UT Tyler