Debbie Cottrell

President, Texas Lutheran University

Debbie Cottrell headshot

Debbie Cottrell has served as president of Texas Lutheran University since 2019, after serving as the university’s vice president for academic affairs for seven years. Cottrell has overseen both programmatic growth and geographical expansion, with a consistent focus on diversity, student experience, financial stability, and community partnerships. Her previous roles include positions in academic affairs at both William Peace University and Smith College and as a faculty member at Cottey College. Earlier, she taught middle school and worked as an editor. Cottrell earned a bachelor’s degree from Baylor University and a master’s and PhD in history from the University of Texas at Austin, where she focused on U.S. women’s history and the history of education. Cottrell serves on the board of the Independent Colleges and Universities of Texas and is active in numerous programs of the Council of Independent Colleges, the Network of ELCA Colleges and Universities, and the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference.