Chancellor’s Council Honors Faculty, Celebrates 50th Anniversary

Texas Tech University System Chancellor Robert L. Duncan recently recognized four Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center (TTUHSC) faculty members as recipients of the 2017 Chancellor’s Council Distinguished Teaching and Research Awards. These awards recognize excellence in academics and research and are the most prestigious honors granted to faculty members throughout the TTU System.

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“It is an honor to present these talented and dedicated faculty members with these awards,” Duncan said. “I am grateful for the commitment to excellence all of these individuals have made to not only our institutions, but to the lives of the students they impact on a daily basis.”


The awards are made possible through philanthropic gifts to the Chancellor’s Council, which has recognized top teaching and research faculty across the Texas Tech University System. To date, 151 faculty members have received awards totaling $965,000.


The Chancellor’s Council, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary, was originally created in 1967 as the President’s Council to recognize donors who helped Texas Tech University accomplish its highest goals. The program was renamed and expanded in 1996 with the establishment of the Texas Tech University System. Today, the Chancellor’s Council plays a vital role in creating opportunities for all four universities. Among the many areas, the council funds student scholarships, faculty awards and top scholar recruitment.


The award recipients receive a $5,000 stipend and an engraved medallion.



Those recognized for teaching excellence were:


Katie Bennett, Ph.D.,is an associate professor in the School of Health Professions, as part of the Molecular Pathology and Clinical Laboratory Science programs. In addition to her teaching duties, Bennett serves as laboratory director for two local clinical diagnostic laboratories.


Elizabeth Goebel Jones, Ph.D., is the founding chair of the Department of Medical Education. She is a tenured professor with an additional appointment in the Department of Family and Community Medicine. She is co-director of the Family Medicine Accelerated Track, a nationally recognized program to increase the primary care physician workforce, especially throughout Texas. She also serves as the director of the Patients, Physicians, and Populations course, a longitudinal experience for first- and second-year medical students. 


Richard D. Leff, Pharm.D., is a university distinguished professor and James A. ‘Buddy’ Davidson Endowed Professor in Pediatric Pharmacology, as well as senior associate dean for Clinical and Translational Sciences at the School of Pharmacy.


Leff joined the School of Pharmacy in 2002 and led early development of the teaching and research programs at the Dallas regional campus. His research has been diverse including development of novel drug delivery and treatment for infants and children with sustained grant and contract funding from federal, state and private agencies.


Billy U. Philips, Jr., Ph.D., is the executive vice president and director of the F. Marie Hall Institute for Rural and Community Health. He is a professor in the Department of Family and Community Medicine and Public Health.


His research focuses on disease prevention. He and his research team have used spatial epidemiological methods to explain how social deprivation can impact early detection of diseases. For the past decade, his scholarly efforts have focused on diffusion of medical innovations and how disruptive change can be managed to result in better disease prevention strategies in public health.

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