After the sharp decline in enrollment during the late 1970s and 1980s, enrollment numbers stabilized around 8,000 students throughout the 1990s and into the early 2000s. President Dan Jones, appointed in 2008, presided over student enrollment initiatives that generated a 40 percent growth rate over an eight-year period. Enrollment reached 10,000 students for the first time in 2010, climbed to 11,000 students in 2012, and continued past 12,000 students in 2015. At the same time, ethnic enrollment doubled and by 2016 international student enrollment increased nearly 64 percent with more than 1,000 students representing more than 50 countries. In 2009, the university began working toward becoming a Hispanic Serving Institution. In five short years, the first step toward reaching that goal was achieved when A&M-Commerce was designated an Emerging Hispanic Serving Institution.