Main page content

Michael Tidwell officially named president of The University of Texas at Tyler

AUSTIN—The University of Texas System Board of Regents named Michael V. Tidwell, Ph.D., the next president of The University of Texas at Tyler. Tidwell, currently the dean of Eastern Michigan University’s College of Business, will begin his new role leading UT Tyler on Jan. 1, 2017.

Michael V. Tidwell, Ph.D.,
Michael V. Tidwell, Ph.D.,

Regents approved the appointment at the board meeting today. Tidwell was unanimously selected as the sole finalist for the position at a special board meeting last month.

Tidwell will replace current UT Tyler President Rodney H. Mabry, Ph.D., who announced in February his plans to retire from the position effective Dec. 31, 2016, after almost 18 years at the helm of UT Tyler. 

“Thanks to Dr. Mabry’s leadership, UT Tyler is on an impressive trajectory and the Board of Regents sought a leader who can build on that success,” Board Chairman Paul L. Foster said. “In Dr. Tidwell, we have found an exceptional blend of leadership, scholarship and warmth. We believe these characteristics will be invaluable in building connections with students, faculty and the entire Northeast Texas community.”

UT Tyler is an academic centerpiece in Northeast Texas and is one of the fastest growing universities in the UT System. Additionally, UT Tyler’s semester credit hour growth of 12.8 percent over the last two years places it in the top five fastest growing public universities in the state.

Tidwell has led more than 100 faculty members and 3,500 students at Eastern Michigan’s College of Business, where he has served as dean since 2012. He served in a similar position at Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania, and was assistant dean at Clayton State University’s School of Business in Georgia.

In addition to his leadership roles, Tidwell also has held a number of faculty appointments at colleges across the country and served as a visiting professor in India and Kenya.

"The University of Texas at Tyler has developed into an extraordinary institution. From new programmatic growth to an increasing focus on research, UTT is quickly becoming the university of choice in East Texas and beyond,” Tidwell said. “I am honored to be named the fourth President of UT Tyler by the Board of Regents and look forward to working with all stakeholders to expand the University's impact, influence and reach for years to come."

Tidwell earned his bachelor’s degree in communication from Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana, where he also competed as a NCAA Division 1 athlete in volleyball, before completing his master’s degree in communication from Washington State University. Tidwell received his Ph.D. in organizational studies from Washington State University.

He and his wife have two sons – one a junior at the College of William & Mary and the other a high school sophomore. Tidwell and his wife were high school sweethearts, both born and raised in Los Angeles County, California, but he also has ties to Tyler, where his grandfather grew up, and is looking forward to reigniting that connection.

About The University of Texas System

Educating students, providing care for patients, conducting groundbreaking basic, applied and clinical research, and serving the needs of Texans and the nation for more than 130 years, The University of Texas System is one of the largest public university systems in the United States. With 14 institutions and an enrollment of more than 221,000, the UT System confers more than one-third of the state’s undergraduate degrees, educates almost two-thirds of the state’s health care professionals annually and accounts for almost 70 percent of all research funds awarded to public institutions in Texas. The UT System’s operating budget for FY 2017 is $17.9 billion, including $3 billion in sponsored programs funded by federal, state, local and private sources. With more than 20,000 faculty – including Nobel laureates and many members of the National Academies – and nearly 80,000 health care professionals, researchers, student advisors and support staff, the UT System is one of the largest employers in the state.

Background Materials

News Contact Information

Jenny LaCoste-Caputo:  • 512-499-4361(direct) • 512-574-5777 (cell) 
Melanie Thompson: • 512-499-4487 (direct) • 832-724-1024 (cell)