Texas Tech University

Familiar Face Around Campus Takes Reins of eLearning Division

By Leslie Cranford, Section Manager

Amid the campus reorganization that has recently taken place through Texas Tech's Office of the Provost, the Division of eLearning & Academic Partnerships has welcomed Brian Still, Ph.D., as its interim vice provost. Still, a professor of technical communication, started his new position on June 1.

Brian Still

Brian Still, Ph.D.

Brian Still

Brian Still, Ph.D.

Still, who earned his Ph.D. from the University of South Dakota, and his bachelor's at William Jewell College, joined Texas Tech as a faculty member in 2002. From 2017 to 2021 he served as chair of the department of English, and from 2021 to 2022 was interim dean of the College of Arts and Sciences.

With the success and recognition Texas Tech's eLearning division and its components have had just in the past few years, Still is ready to build on that to make the unit even more of a leader and example to others on campus.

“My goal is to build on the success we've already achieved,” Still recently told his staff. “We already know we're the number one e-Learning platform; TTU K-12 just got an A rating, which makes it better than many school districts that I feel are good school districts in the state. This is about building on what we've done.”

Still's daughter is now a Texas Tech student, taking five classes, two of which are online. He said she is considered a ‘traditional' student, even with her hybrid mix of courses.

“This is a very dynamic, kinetic time where ALL of us in education need to be in the business of re-evaluating how we go about teaching and delivering education on many different levels, to what is now a changed student population,” he said. “Everything is different now. We have to be the leaders. It is our job, more than anyone else's, to lead the way.”

And Still is no stranger to leading the way.

He previously worked in government and industry as a web and software developer. In addition to authoring publications on topics including product usability, complex user systems, and user-centered design, he is named on three issued U.S. and international patents. He has also graduated 19 doctoral students and mentored others as former director of the User Experience (UX) Research Lab (URL).

Taking advantage of technology that he developed in the URL in 2010, Still and his research team created an affordable eye tracking research system, commercializing it in 2011. He then founded a company, EyeGuide, around that technology, eventually innovating two other products—EyeGuide Mobile Tracker and EyeGuide Assist—that, among other things, allowed people with little to no use of their hands the ability to control a computer mouse with their eyes. EyeGuide created Focus, a hardware and software platform intended for use in the field, that administers a seamless 10-second test to detect potential neurological impairment. EyeGuide Focus was featured by CNN and was a finalist for the NFL's 1st and Future event hosted at Super Bowl LII in 2018. The technology is currently being used by major organizations and clients across the U.S. and internationally, including professional sports teams, healthcare systems and academic institutions.

Still earned the Texas Tech University President's Award for Technology Commercialization in 2015 and the Emily K. Schlesinger Award from the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers in 2009.