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News Release

Kelly R. Damphousse, Ph.D., Named Sole Finalist in Texas State University Presidential Search (3/31/22)

(AUSTIN) – Texas State University System Chancellor Brian McCall has selected Kelly R. Damphousse, Ph.D., as sole finalist in the Texas State University presidential search. Dr. Damphousse (DAM-fiss) currently serves as chancellor and CEO of Arkansas State University, with campuses in Jonesboro, Arkansas, and Queretaro, Mexico. He was named sole finalist after an extensive, six-month national search.

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“Dr. Damphousse is a respected university and community leader who possesses the knowledge, experience and passion to lead Texas State to new levels of achievement and success,” said Chancellor McCall. “I sincerely thank the advisory search committee, including TSUS Regents Don Flores, Charlie Amato, Garry Crain and Nikki Harle for their time, energy and deliberation during the search process.” Regents Flores, Crain and Harle are Texas State University alumni.

From 2004 to 2017, Dr. Damphousse served as Associate Dean, Interim Dean, and Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Oklahoma (OU), an R1 Carnegie-ranked doctoral research university that enrolls more than 31,000 students and generates $362 million in total research. From 2012 to 2017, he also served as OU’s faculty athletics representative, providing oversight on NCAA and Big 12 compliance issues.

Dr. Damphousse is an accomplished scholar and has conducted extensive research on terrorism and substance abuse, rising through the faculty ranks to become a tenured Presidential Professor of Sociology. He began his academic career as an assistant professor at the University of Alabama at Birmingham and at Sam Houston State University, before joining the OU faculty in 1997.

A native of Canada, Dr. Damphousse is familiar with Texas and the Texas State University System, having earned a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice from Sam Houston State University and a master’s degree and Ph.D. in Sociology from Texas A&M University. He also holds an associate degree in law enforcement from Lethbridge College, a community college in Alberta, Canada.

“As a first-generation college student, I am humbled to be considered for the presidency of such an accomplished university, strategically located in the middle of the Texas Innovation Corridor and primed to become a Tier One research university,” said Dr. Damphousse. “To be able to build on the tremendous trajectory that President Trauth has established would be a great honor. My wife, Beth, and I are excited about the possibility of returning home to Texas, and the opportunity to serve the faculty, staff, students, alumni and friends of Texas State University.”

Texas law requires a 21-day waiting period before the Texas State University System Board of Regents may consider Dr. Damphousse’s nomination. If confirmed, he will become Texas State University’s 10th president, succeeding Dr. Denise Trauth, who will retire in June after 20 years of service to the university.

Russell Reynolds Associates, an executive search firm, assisted TSUS in the Texas State University presidential search process.