Denise M. Trauth became president of Texas State University in 2002. Before joining Texas State, Dr. Trauth was provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.
She earned a bachelor’s degree in English at Mount St. Joseph University, a master’s degree in journalism at The Ohio State University, and a Ph.D. in mass communications at The University of Iowa.
She is married to Dr. John Huffman, professor emeritus at Bowling Green State University and UNC Charlotte. They have two daughters, four grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren.
Under Dr. Trauth’s leadership, Texas State was designated a Texas Emerging Research University; has been reclassified as an “R2: Doctoral University – Higher Research Activity” under the Carnegie Classification system; became a federal Hispanic-Serving Institution; moved to the FBS subdivision of NCAA Division I; and has experienced its largest construction program since being founded in 1899. The university has also added eighty academic programs, greatly expanded its external funding of research, and increased philanthropic giving.
In addition to her university responsibilities, President Trauth serves as chair of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas’ San Antonio Branch board of directors. She is a member and former president of the Austin Area Research Organization, is a member of the Philosophical Society of Texas, and is former President of the Greater San Marcos Partnership. She has served on the American Council on Education’s Commission on Women in Higher Education. President Trauth recently completed service as the Chair of the NCAA Division I Board of Directors and as an NCAA Division I Board Representative to the NCAA Board of Governors. As a member of the Sun Belt Conference Board of Directors, she served as President of the Sun Belt Board and as a member of the NCAA Presidential Forum.
President Trauth is the recipient of several prestigious awards. The Texas State Alumni Association awarded President Trauth with the 2021 Outstanding Leadership Award in recognition of her outstanding leadership to Texas State University through integrity, compassion, resiliency, and innovation. Additionally, the San Marcos Area Chamber of Commerce awarded President Trauth with the 2021 Citizen of the Year Award in recognition of her unwavering commitment and dedication to the San Marcos Community. She received the Ohtli Award from the government of Mexico, the Carol A. Luthman Meritorious Service Award from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, the Austin Business Journal’s Women of Influence Special Achievement Award, the Girl Scouts’ Women of Distinction Award, the “Respect” Award for the First Tee Greater Austin 9 Core Values Awards, and the Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce State of Education Austin Human Capital Award.
Dr. Trauth retired from the Texas State presidency on June 30, 2022, and was named President Emeritus.