Dean's Advisory Council
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by Peggy Sheehan
The College of Natural Sciences at the University of Houston inaugurated its Dean’s Advisory Council for the 2004 - 2005 academic year on April 1 and 2, 2004. The purpose of the Council is to advise the dean and the College on issues affecting the long-term success of the College, including changes in relevant professions, in industry-wide research, in graduation requirements, in fundraising, and in program development.   Each of the executive level members brings years of experience and wisdom to the Council, which adds real-world perspective to the strategic planning process for the College.
Our Council members for '04-'05 include Joseph S. Baker, Jr. who received his degree in mathematics in 1968 and is now president of Search Consultants International. He founded SCI in 1980 after a 13-year career in telecommunications.  SCI is recognized as one of the foremost specialty-recruiting firms in the nation. In 1995, SCI was recognized as one of Houston's 100 Fastest Growing Companies.
Another member of the Council is Nancy T. Chang, PhD. As president and chief executive officer of Tanox, Inc., Dr. Chang draws on 22 years of biotechnology experience, which includes a doctorate in biological chemistry from Harvard University. She co-founded her Houston company in 1986 to address significant unmet medical needs in the areas of asthma, allergy, inflammation, and human immune deficiency.
Pierre F. Haas-Garcia, Principal of McKinsey & Co. has extensive experience in the oil and gas industry, much of it in the international arena.  From 1992-1995, he served as Director General of Petroleos Mexicanos (PEMEX) Comercio Internacional, and in 1995-6, led the Mexican state oil company's international trade subsidiary. 
Council member Bernard A. Harris, Jr., MD, is the president and CEO of Vesalius Ventures and a 1978 biology graduate of NSM. He was the first African-American to walk in space and the first person to perform a full physical exam in space while aboard the shuttle Columbia. This former astronaut for NASA's Medical Science Division is an associate professor of internal medicine for UT Medical Branch-Galveston, and an assistant professor at Baylor College of Medicine.
The Honorable William P. Hobby is well known to most Houstonians. He is chairman of the board of H & C Communications, Inc. and was Texas’s lieutenant governor from 1973-1991. An alumnus of Rice University, Mr. Hobby is a former member of the UH board of regents and a former UH System chancellor (1995-97).
A UH accounting alumnus, Lawrence E. Lenig, Jr. brings executive experience to the Council. Mr. Lenig served as president of Houston-based Digicon Inc. from  1989 to 1993 and went on to lead two other geosciences companies until 2002 when he became president and chief executive officer for Seitel, Inc. The company's specialty is geological and seismic data of interest to major oil and gas exploration companies.
Linda S. Magill, MD is a chemistry alumna of UH.  A graduate of the University of Texas Medical School, she is an anesthesiologist in private practice in Houston. She is a past-president of the Houston Hispanic Forum, and was honored as a "Woman of Achievement" by the Chi Omega Alumnae Association in 2003.
Eckard Pfeiffer is chairman of the board of Intershop Communications of San Francisco, CA.  He has extensive expertise in the computer science industry, formerly serving as president and CEO of Compaq Computer Corporation, from 1991 - 1999. He was named CNBC's CEO of the Year in 1994, and was honored by UH in 1999 at its NSM "Quest for Excellence" gala.
Herman D. Suit, MD, PhD serves as the Andres Soriano Professor of Radiation Oncology at Harvard Medical School.  He is also head of the Radiation Therapy department of Massachusetts General Hospital.  After earning a biology degree from UH, Dr. Suit went on to study medicine at Baylor College of Medicine and to pursue his special interest in radiation physics at Oxford University, UK. His distinguished professional career has won him the prestigious Research Career Development Award from the National Cancer Institute, the American College of Radiology's Gold Medal Award, and the General Motors Cancer Research Foundation Award.
© University of Houston 2004