Debbie Cottrell

Texas Lutheran University

Debbie Cottrell became the 16th president of Texas Lutheran University in 2019. Prior to assuming the presidency, she served as vice president for academic affairs for seven years. Previously, Cottrell served as provost of William Peace University, where she led academic affairs, enrollment, and student life. She also was associate dean of the faculty and director of graduate programs at Smith College. Cottrell began her career in higher education at Cottey College, where she taught history and government and served as assistant dean of the faculty. Prior to attending graduate school, Cottrell taught middle school and worked as an editor at the Texas Historical Commission. She is the author of a biography of Annie Webb Blanton, an educator who became the first woman in Texas elected to statewide office, which received the Liz Carpenter Award from the Texas State Historical Association. She serves on the executive advisory committee for the Handbook of Texas Women. Cottrell was the recipient of CIC’s Chief Academic Officer Award in 2017 and is a facilitator in CIC’s Presidential Vocation and Institutional Mission program. A first-generation college student, she holds a bachelor’s degree from Baylor University and a master’s and PhD in history from the University of Texas at Austin.