Since assuming the role in 2011, Texas Wesleyan University President Frederick G. Slabach has developed and executed a bold agenda that cultivates student critical thinking and revitalizes Texas Wesleyan’s home in East Fort Worth as a vibrant academic and economic center.
These strategic initiatives are part of the University’s 2020 Vision, a strategic plan to make Texas Wesleyan a leader in innovative education in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex.
Under President Slabach’s leadership, Texas Wesleyan has made more than $50 million in capital improvements to the campus and surrounding neighborhood, and the University endowment has doubled. Freshman applications have increased 400 percent, and overall enrollment has increased more than 15 percent since 2011.
The increase in the number of residential students has exceeded strategic plan goals. In Fall 2017, football returned to Texas Wesleyan for the first time in more than 75 years to an overwhelmingly positive response from the local community and football fans across the nation.
Five years ago, Texas Wesleyan broke ground on the Rosedale Renaissance, a $6.7 million project designed to revitalize the campus and the surrounding Polytechnic Heights neighborhood.
Its four key pieces include the "front door" to the University and iconic Canafax Clock Tower, an investment in the streets adjacent to campus that leverages $32 million in street improvements along East Rosedale, the United Methodist Church Central Texas Conference Service Center, and renovations to thehistoric Polytechnic Firehouse which is now home Texas Wesleyan’s art gallery.
The Rosedale Renaissance continues to thrive with the University’s community counseling center moving to Rosedale, the opening of the new business accelerator next door and an upcoming 3,400-square-foot restaurant, “Ben’s Triple B: Biscuits, Burgers and Brews,” from Ben Merritt, a rising local celebrity chef, which is scheduled to open in the fall of 2018.
Also, under President Slabach’s leadership, Texas Wesleyan broke ground in the spring of 2018 on a new, $20.25 million, 44,000-square-foot student center, the Nick & Lou Martin University Center. The fully-funded project is the most significant capital improvement project at Texas Wesleyan in a century and a result of generous donors and friends of the University who are dedicated to supporting Texas Wesleyan students as they persist to graduation. The student center will be the hub for student life and engagement, and include the University bookstore, a food court, welcome center, outdoor amphitheater and more.
President Slabach is treasurer of the Independent College & Universities of Texas Board of Directors and serves on the board of directors of the National Association of Schools and Colleges of the United Methodist Church. He also serves on the Committee on Tax Policy for the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities, is the treasurer of the board of the Harry S. Truman Scholarship Foundation, and is a board member of the Texas United Methodist College Association. Additionally, Slabach is the board chair of the Development Corporation of Tarrant County, chair of the community development organization Renaissance Heights United, and on the boards of the Mary I. Gourley Scholarship Foundation and Southeast Fort Worth, Inc.
President Slabach received his LL.M from Columbia University School of Law, his J.D. from the University of Mississippi School of Law and his B.S. from Mississippi College. He is married to the Pulitzer Prize-nominated author Melany Neilson. They have twin sons and a daughter.