San Francisco Named Honors College Dean

He will assume his new role on January 1.

San Francisco

San Francisco

Michael San Francisco, Texas Tech University interim vice president for research, has been appointed dean of the Honors College, Provost Lawrence Schovanec announced Monday.

San Francisco will begin his new role January 1. Earlier this fall Robert Duncan was named vice president for research, a role he assumes also on January 1.

“It is my pleasure to appoint Dr. San Francisco as dean of the Honors College,” Schovanec said. “Dr. San Francisco is respected as an outstanding teacher, scholar and collegial faculty member. He is the ideal person to fill the position of dean of the Honors College at Texas Tech. I am confident that under his leadership the Honors College will provide exceptional opportunities to our students through the integration of innovative educational, scholarship and service opportunities."

San Francisco said he is honored to be selected for the prestigious dean position at Texas Tech and looks forward to joining President M. Duane Nellis’ leadership team.

“I am very grateful to President Nellis and Provost Schovanec for the opportunity to serve our student body through the Honors College,” San Francisco said. “I would also like to thank Dr. Steve Fritz, who served as the interim dean of the college. I look forward to an energized university-wide partnership to promote the Honors College mission.”

A past associate dean in the Honors College, San Francisco also is a professor in the Department of Biological Sciences. He’s worked on faculty development, interdisciplinary scholarship academy, strategic initiatives, proposal development and limited submissions as the interim vice president for research.

“Dr. San Francisco has displayed strong leadership as interim vice president for research, which is a crucial area for our research enterprise as we position the university as a national research leader,” Nellis said. “He is very student-centered and committed to encouraging undergraduate success at the highest level. He is a well-respected member of our faculty and administrative leadership and we are pleased he’s accepted this role.”

San Francisco joined Texas Tech as an assistant professor in biological sciences in 1990 and was promoted to full professor in 2004. He also is an adjunct/joint professor at the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center in the Department of Immunology and Molecular Microbiology. He earned his bachelor’s degree in 1977 in India before attending Boston University, earning his master’s in biochemical ecology in 1980 and doctorate in biology-microbiology in 1984. He did post-doctoral research at the University of Maryland in biochemistry and molecular biology (1984-1987) and subsequently at Ohio State University (1987-1990) in biotechnology.

San Francisco has been the director of the Clark Scholars Program since 1997. This program provides an intensive research experience for high school students from across the nation and globe. He was director of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) Science Education Program from 2005 to 2008 and now is associate director for undergraduate research. He also serves as co-director at the Center for the Integration of STEM Education and Research. He served as the faculty director for the Joint Admissions Medical Program (2001-2008), a program run by the State of Texas for those students who are academically eligible and economically underprivileged, and wish to attend medical school. San Francisco has an active research program that he will continue to direct.

Honors College

The Honors College at Texas Tech is dedicated to providing students with a broad education that prepares them for a lifetime of learning.

Honors Sciences and the Humanities (HSH), formerly known as Honors Arts and Letters (HAL), is a major and minor degree program offered by the Honors College. HSH integrates the seemingly disparate sciences and humanities, instilling critical thinking skills and communication literacy through reading and writing-intensive courses while simultaneously preparing students for STEM-based careers and rigorous post-graduate programs like law and medical school. Within the HSH major, students may choose to pursue degree concentrations in Medicine, Global Health & the Humanities; Humanities Driven STEM; Environmental Science & the Humanities, or Politics, Philosophy, Economics & Law.


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