Dr. Timothy Rowe became the fourth director of the Vertebrate Paleontology Laboratory in 1998. At the same time, VPL was re-merged as a division of the Texas Natural Science Center.
Currently VPL functions much as similar facilities at other major U.S. universities, performing the three-fold roles of research, education and conservation. It has become a national center of excellence for the study of the history of prehistoric vertebrates.
In size, its collections are among the top ten such facilities in the U.S., and it hosts one of the largest graduate training programs in Vertebrate Paleontology in the nation.