Texas Tech University Honors Former President Haragan

Date: Feb. 23, 2006
CONTACT: Sally Logue Post, sally.post@ttu.edu

LUBBOCK – Former Texas Tech president Donald R. Haragan will forever have a home in the university’s administration building.

Texas Tech has a tradition of dedicating a bronze plaque to mark each former president’s term in office. A plaque commemorating Haragan’s four years as president was installed Thursday in the breezeway of the building.

“Don Haragan has been an inspiration to the Red Raider family for 36 years and he continues to contribute in so many ways including teaching undergraduate classes,” said Jon Whitmore, Texas Tech president.

Haragan came to Texas Tech in 1969 as an assistant professor in geosciences and has served in a variety of administrative positions on both a full-time and interim basis.

“Our 36 years at Texas Tech have been a labor of love for my wife Willie and me,” said Haragan. “The credit for whatever we have accomplished during that time goes to those faculty, staff and students who took some raw ideas and made them happen.”

Haragan became president of Texas Tech University in August 1996 after serving as interim president. He served a second interim term as president from December 2002 until September 2003, when Whitmore assumed the role.

Also, Haragan served as executive vice president and provost from 1988 until 1996 and vice president for academic affairs and research from 1985 until 1988. Haragan came to Texas Tech in 1969 as assistant professor in geosciences. Early in his career at Texas Tech he served as chairperson of the Department of Geosciences and as associate dean and interim dean of the College of Arts and Sciences.

“Don jokes that he is the epitome of interimity, he’s been an interim department chair, an interim dean, an interim vice president and an interim president -- twice,” said Whitmore. “I think what that indicates is that Texas Tech knows that when it needs help, Don Haragan is the man we can turn too to make sure the university continues to grow and prosper.”

Haragan is credited with helping to establish much of the current academic structure at Texas Tech. In 1985, he negotiated a new tenure policy for the university that remains in place today. He also established the Office of International Affairs and the Office of Institutional Research, as well as the Center for Teaching, Learning and Technology to train teachers in the use of technology in the classroom. He created the Texas Tech University Press as an independent publishing arm of the university.

Haragan was a leader in establishing the University Honors Program and, as president, pushed for it to become the Honors College. The Honors College now enrolls 900 students. When it began as a program 13 years ago, enrollment was 10. He also created a scholarship program for student interns to work with members of Congress and in federal offices in Washington, D.C. Haragan also established, with the help of Horn Professor Allan Kuethe, the Texas Tech Center in Seville, Spain.

Early in his tenure as provost, Haragan established the first admission standards for Texas Tech. As president, he worked to establish Texas Tech Regional Centers in Austin, Dallas, El Paso and Houston.

A native of Houston, Haragan earned his bachelor’s of science degree from the University of Texas at Austin, his master’s degree in meteorology from Texas A&M University and a doctorate in civil engineering-atmospheric science from the University of Texas at Austin. He is married to Willie O’Berry Haragan. They are the parents of two adult daughters.


CONTACT: Margaret Lutherer, director of communications, Office of the President, Texas Tech University, at (806) 742-2121.