Vista K. McCroskey

UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS AT TYLER. Tyler State College was established in 1971, and in January 1973 the school opened upper-division classes in the abandoned O. M. Roberts Junior High School. In 1975 it became Texas Eastern University and moved to permanent quarters on a 200-acre wooded tract in southeast Tyler. The grounds, including a lake, are bordered by Old Omen Road on the east, Patriot Avenue on the west, and University Boulevard to the south. On June 2, 1979, Governor William P. Clements, Jr., signed Senate Bill 906 passed by the Sixty-sixth Texas Legislature, which made the university a part of the University of Texas System. The University of Texas at Tyler is the only public, degree-granting university in the East Texas Planning Region, an area which includes fourteen counties and the greater Tyler-Longview metropolitan area. It is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award bachelor's and master's degrees. It is organized into six colleges: Business Administration, Liberal Arts, Sciences and Mathematics, Engineering, Nursing, and Education and Psychology. In 2001 the university offered thirty-four bachelor's and twenty-four master's degrees. University enrollment increased from 1,972 in 1979 to 4,096 in 1989, the largest percentage growth in Texas. Seventy-three percent of the students were local, but the rest represented twenty-five states and six countries. For 1992–93 the University of Texas at Tyler had 224 faculty, 3,988 students in the regular session, 3,339 in summer sessions, and 650 in continuing-education courses. By the fall of 2000 enrollment was 3,592, with a faculty of 257. Rodney H. Mabry became the university's third president in 1998.

John Clements, Flying the Colors: Texas, a Comprehensive Look at Texas Today, County by County (Dallas: Clements Research, 1984). Donald W. Whisenhunt, comp., Chronological History of Smith County (Tyler, Texas: Smith County Historical Society, 1983).

Image Use Disclaimer

All copyrighted materials included within the Handbook of Texas Online are in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107 related to Copyright and “Fair Use” for Non-Profit educational institutions, which permits the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA), to utilize copyrighted materials to further scholarship, education, and inform the public. The TSHA makes every effort to conform to the principles of fair use and to comply with copyright law.

For more information go to:

If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.


The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Handbook of Texas Online, Vista K. McCroskey, "UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS AT TYLER," accessed April 21, 2019,

Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

Get this week's most popular Handbook of Texas articles delivered straight to your inbox