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The administration of the Graduate School is the responsibility of the vice provost and dean of graduate studies. Each academic area that offers a graduate degree has a Graduate Studies Committee, a group consisting of all the assistant, associate, and full professors who are active in that graduate degree program. The Graduate Studies Committee recommends students for admission to the program, sets program-specific requirements for the graduate degrees in that area, and recommends students for admission to candidacy for degrees. Graduate education is the responsibility of the members of Graduate Studies Committees. One member serves as the graduate adviser to register and advise all graduate students, to maintain records, and to represent the Graduate School in matters pertaining to graduate work in that area.

The departmental organizational structure is conventional with a department chair, associate chair, undergraduate advisor and graduate advisor as key administrative positions. The department chair reports to the dean of engineering along with six other departments. The complete reporting structure for UT Austin administration and the Cockrell School of Engineering can be found at http://www.utexas.edu/reporting.

A summary of the personnel and roles pertinent to the Department of Biomedical Engineering is as follows:

Mark J. T. Smith, PhD, Dean of Graduate Studies (appointed 2017) – the graduate dean oversees a graduate education program that includes approximately 100 fields of study and is one of the largest doctoral degree-granting schools in the country. His role as a senior vice provost reinforces the vital connections between graduate education with undergraduate education and research. The Provost’s Office coordinates the academic mission of the university, managing all aspects of the academic experience for students, as well as policies and procedures related to the faculty and administration of the departments, colleges, and schools and other academic units. 

Roger Bonnecaze, PhD, Interim Dean of the Cockrell School of Engineering (appointed 2021) – the dean is responsible for administering the school's budget; day-to-day management of funds for the school is done by the assistant dean for business affairs. Faculty hiring priorities are set by the dean, and hiring by individual departments is approved only after departments have submitted strategic plans identifying hiring needs. Overall management of the faculty hiring process is done by the associate dean for academic affairs. Final decisions regarding faculty hiring at the assistant professor level rests with the dean. The dean also provides the departments with general guidelines on faculty promotion and tenure, and recommendations for promotion and tenure are made by the departments to the dean through the associate dean for academic affairs. After thorough review of the candidates, the dean's recommendations are forwarded to the provost for action. Recommended salary adjustments are brought to the dean by the department chairs following guidance from the dean, and those recommendations along with additional salary adjustments made by the dean are passed on to the provost.

Shelly Sakiyama-Elbert, PhD, Department Chair (appointed 2016) – the department chair is the chief administrative officer, provides overall leadership, and is responsible for the day-to-day operation of the department. The chair ensures compliance with accreditation criteria, is responsible for overseeing the department’s budget, curriculum issues, and staff issues. The department chair serves as a liaison between the department faculty, and the dean and provost.

Tim (Hsin-Chih) Yen, PhD, GSC Chair (appointed 2017) – The graduate studies committee chair is responsible for the oversight of graduate program policy decisions and the Qualifying Exam conducted at the conclusion of the students’ first year of study. The graduate studies committee meets on a monthly basis to review, revise, and implement new graduate program policy, vote on cases of extenuating circumstance, and evaluate the progress of students through the graduate program.

Andrew Dunn, PhD, Graduate Advisor (appointed 2017) – The graduate advisor is responsible for the oversight of academic aspects of the graduate program. As such, the advisor sets program policies in conjunction with the GSC, oversees student welfare issues, advises student on coursework, serves as signature authority for the department on graduate student progress, and fulfills other departmental requirements as needed. In addition, the graduate advisor is also instructor for the 1st year seminar, reports on the program to the External Advisory Council and other entities as required, and serves as a liaison between the department faculty/students and the Graduate School.

Lacy White, MS, Graduate Program Coordinator (hired 2017) – The Graduate Program Coordinator administers the day-to-day functioning of the program. She communicates milestone and registration requirements to students, and organizes student recruitment activities, orientation, supervisor selection, and qualifying exams. She is the first point of contact for all student inquiries, from dissertation requirements to personal welfare issues. She is also responsible for maintaining student records for the department, produces the majority of reports about the program, and ensures new policies are put into place and properly enforced. As one of the department's Human Resource Associates, she completes employment processes teaching assistants in the department. 

Graduate Studies Committee

Each academic area that offers a graduate degree at the University of Texas has a Graduate Studies Committee (GSC), a group consisting of faculty who can serve as sole supervisors of graduate students for that given degree. The GSC consists of all tenure and tenure track BME faculty in addition to outside members. Together, the GSC recommends students for admission to the program, sets program-specific requirements for the graduate degrees in that area, and recommends students for admission to candidacy for degrees. Graduate education is the responsibility of the members of Graduate Studies Committees.

One member of the GSC is nominated to serve as the GSC chair. 

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