Keynote Featuring Jan Bednar
Mar 29, 2021 11:45 AM - 1:00 PM
Undergraduate Research Conference - Morning Opening Session
Mar 30, 2021 8:30 AM - 9:00 AM
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. In the past year, Texas Tech was designated as a Hispanic-Serving Institution, one of 12 Carnegie Tier One Research institutions to achieve this distinction. In addition, Texas Tech 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. This qualifies 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 also received the 2018 Sen. Paul Simon Award for Comprehensive Internationalization. These achievements reflect the emphasis Schovanec has placed on promoting student success and diversity, while also solidifying Texas Tech's status as a world-class research institution.
This vision for the university has guided Schovanec throughout his career at Texas Tech, which began as an assistant professor in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics, where he eventually served as chairman for nearly 10 years. He subsequently was appointed dean of the university's largest college, the College of Arts & Sciences, then served as interim president for 10 months in 2012 and 2013, before being named Provost.
As the university's chief academic officer, Schovanec instituted an initiative to improve student success that helped Texas Tech achieve record retention rates each of the past two years. To promote transparency in the budget process, he initiated the annual college budget hearings that continue to this day. Under his leadership, the university introduced TTU Worldwide eLearning, which was created to enhance the quality and availability of online courses for both residential and nonresidential students and grow Texas Tech's presence at regional sites across the state. Schovanec also established the Humanities Center and coordinated the initial planning for the establishment of 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 was inaugurated in May and will host its first classes in fall 2018.
In all of his administrative roles, Schovanec has emphasized the importance of teaching excellence and scholarship support. In his first year as president, Texas Tech increased merit- and need-based scholarships by $8 million, which contributed to a fall 2017 freshman class that was distinguished by a record number of national merit finalists, presidential scholars and first-generation students. As part of Schovanec's and Texas Tech's commitment to its core missions, 50 Presidential Teaching and Research Excellence Professorships were established.
Texas Tech continues to increase and improve its infrastructure during Schovanec's tenure. When he was named president, Schovanec announced a five-year, $20 million investment in classroom and teaching laboratories. Since then, Texas Tech has dedicated the opening of the new Honors Residence Hall, started construction on a second $77 million Experimental Sciences Building, and begun a $43 million major renovation of the Maedgen Theatre.
An Oklahoma native, Schovanec earned a bachelor of science in mathematics from Phillips University and a master of science in mathematics from Texas A&M University. He earned his doctorate in mathematics from Indiana University. Schovanec's wife, Patty, is an instructor and advisor in the Department of Mathematics & Statistics. They have two sons, Tyler and Cory.