Texas Tech University

TTU biologist Michael San Francisco

Michael San Francisco Named Interim Dean

Biology Professor to Lead College of Arts & Sciences Sept. 1


Texas Tech University Provost Michael Galyean announced on Thursday (June 4) the appointment of Honors College Dean Michael San Francisco, Ph.D., as interim dean of the College of Arts & Sciences. He will begin his new role Sept. 1 and replaces W. Brent Lindquist, Ph.D, who has served as dean of the College of Arts & Sciences since July 2014.

"Michael brings a wealth of experience to this role," Galyean said. "We all understand that our academic community will face many challenges in the days ahead, but I am confident with Michael's capable leadership, combined with partnership and support from the college, that the College of Arts & Sciences will prosper."

A group of college employees that includes tenured faculty and department chairpersons selects interim deans from nominations. San Francisco will serve as interim dean until a permanent dean is hired. The university will initiate a nomination process later this summer to find a potential candidate to serve as interim dean of the Honors College while San Francisco serves in his interim role.

The College of Arts & Sciences comprises 16 departments and more than 400 tenured faculty members. In total, the college is home to more than 10,000 students, offering 41 bachelor's degree programs, 34 master's degree programs and 14 doctoral programs.

About Michael San Francisco, Ph.D.

San Francisco joined Texas Tech as an assistant professor in biological sciences in 1990 before being promoted to professor in 2004, then dean of the Honors College in January 2014. He also serves as a professor of molecular microbiology and microbe-host interactions in the College of Arts & Sciences; as an academic adjunct professor within the Department of Immunology and Molecular Microbiology at the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center; as director of the Honors College's Clark Scholars Program; as co-director of the Center for the Integration of STEM Education & Research (CISER) and as a special advisor to the vice president for research and innovation.

Previously, he has served as Honors College associate dean, interim vice president for research, associate vice president for research and interim chair of biological sciences at Texas Tech. He also served as director of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute Science Education Program at Texas Tech from 2005-2008.

He has taught courses in microbiology to undergraduate majors and non-majors and advanced bacterial physiology to graduate students for the last 30 years. He received the Hemphill Wells New Faculty Excellence in Teaching Award and the President's Excellence in Teaching Award at Texas Tech, was identified as a Provost's Integrated Scholar and was last year's recipient of the Distinguished Service Award from the Texas Tech Alumni Association. He was a founding member of the Teaching Academy. San Francisco's research in biological sciences has been published in numerous journals.

In addition to grants from the National Science Foundation (NSF), U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), U.S. Department of Defense-SBCOM and Texas Tech's Office of Research & Innovation, he has served on proposal review panels for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the NSF and as ad hoc reviewer for a variety of funding agencies and scientific journals. He has mentored 13 doctoral students, more than 20 master's students and more than 50 undergraduate researchers.

He completed his bachelor's degree at the University of Agricultural Sciences in Bangalore, India, and earned his master's degree in biochemical ecology and doctorate in biology-microbiology from Boston University. San Francisco completed post-doctoral research in biochemistry and molecular biology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine and in biotechnology at The Ohio State University. He replaces W. Brent Lindquist, who served as dean since July 2014.

College of Arts & Sciences Under Dr. W. Brent Lindquist (July 2014 – Present)

Under the leadership of Dr. Lindquist, the College of Arts & Sciences witnessed significant advances in research, student enrollment, faculty growth, alumni engagement and funding in key areas.

Lindquist's time as dean is marked by a passionate advancement of research throughout the college, and during his tenure, Texas Tech garnered the coveted Very High Research Activity (R1) status on the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education. Additionally, his focus on research resulted in investments growing by more than 30% in four years.

With that investment also came greater alumni engagement, most notably through the launch of the "Unmasking Innovation" capital campaign—paying homage to the creed "We Build Innovators," that took life under his leadership.

Meanwhile, student enrollment in the College of Arts & Sciences has grown at an average rate of 2% annually.

Additionally, as part of Lindquist's passion and vision to engage Arts & Sciences alumni, the first-ever Dean's Circle was established, comprising seasoned alumni and industry leaders that together jointly support the college and provide professional expertise.

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