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Higher Education
Texas Southern University
News Release
Friday, October 20, 2017

Dr. Kendall Harris tapped to lead TSU academic affairs

HOUSTON  – Texas Southern University is pleased to announce that Kendall T. Harris, Ph.D., P.E., has been selected as the new Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs. Dr. Harris, who will begin employment with TSU on January 1, 2018, comes to the University from Prairie View A&M University where he served as dean of the Roy G. Perry College of Engineering.

“Dr. Harris brings a wealth of experience and will help us enhance our academic programs and research efforts. We are glad to have him on our team that is dedicated to serving faculty, staff and students,” said TSU President Austin A. Lane. “Special thanks to Dr. Bobby Wilson for his dedication and service to the University as interim provost. Thanks to Dr. J. Kenyatta Cavil, faculty senate chair, for chairing the search committee and each of the committee members for their leadership during this search.”

A licensed professional engineer, Dr. Harris began his tenure at Prairie View A&M University in 2005 as Associate Dean and Professor of Mechanical Engineering. Under his leadership as Associate Dean, the College implemented the College of Engineering Success Center which focuses on retention by offering supplemental instruction for freshman and sophomore students enrolled in math, science and engineering courses.

He also conceptualized and facilitated a program that partners advisors from each academic department within the college with advisors from the freshman residence complex, University College. This collaboration works through a new freshman course within the College that introduces fundamental engineering, computer science and technology concepts to first-year students.

Dr. Harris has consistently held faculty appointments throughout his tenure as an educator. His external research efforts have garnered more than $10 million in research and program funding. His research interests are in the fields of Heat Transfer, Electronic Package Cooling and Energy Conservation. He has numerous publications and conference proceedings in these areas. Dr. Harris is an active member of the faculty in both academia and in his community. Dr. Harris has worked extensively with youth, encouraging them to pursue college degrees and to major in STEM related fields. He strongly advocates and recognizes that an education is the key factor that separates the “haves” from the “have nots.”

Prior to joining the faculty at PVAMU, Dr. Harris served as Associate Professor and Associate Chairman for the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at the University of Texas at Arlington. In this capacity, he managed the departmental budget, curriculum design, fellowships, and scholarships. He graduated from the Naval Aviation Officer School as a U.S. Naval Officer and Aviator. Dr. Harris received his masters and doctoral degrees in mechanical engineering from the University of Mississippi and he holds bachelor degrees from the University of Kansas.


Texas Southern University (TSU) is a comprehensive, special-purpose institution providing higher education access to the nation’s underserved communities. TSU’s academic and research programs address critical urban issues, and prepares its diverse student population to become a force for positive change in a global society. TSU offers more than 100 undergraduate and graduate programs and concentrations – bachelor’s, master’s, doctoral and professional degrees – organized into 10 colleges and schools on a 150-acre campus nestled in the heart of Houston’s historic Third Ward. The University’s enrollment has a population of more than 10,000 undergraduate and graduate-school academic candidates. Texas Southern has been a distinguished educational pioneer since 1927, and the University has become one of the most diverse and respected institutions in Texas. TSU has positioned itself as a proactive leader in educating underserved students and many who are the first in their family to attend college.

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