Before joining the University of Texas System, Dr. Wanda Mercer was Vice President for Student Life at Tarleton State University for eighteen years. Prior to that, she served 16 years at the University of Houston-Clear Lake, including eight years as Associate Vice President and Dean of Students. In these roles, she was responsible for staff, programs, budgets, facilities, planning and assessment, and crisis response for all departments in Student Affairs. In addition to overseeing student affairs programs, over the years Dr. Mercer had responsibility for financial aid, student recruiting, new student orientation, disabled student services, diversity initiatives, first-year success programs, and academic support services. She has developed successful federal and state grants and was a member to the graduate faculty in the Department of Educational Leadership at Tarleton State University.
Dr. Mercer received her Bachelor of Arts and Master’s of Education degrees from Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, Texas and her Doctorate of Education from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee.
Dr. Mercer has been active in state and national professional associations including service as president of the National Center for Academic Integrity, the Texas Association of College and University Student Personnel Administrators, and Council of Student Services Vice Presidents. She served on the national board for the Association of Student Judicial Affairs and completed a two-year term as a fellow in the Academic Leadership Academy of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities. In spring 1997, Dr. Mercer was selected as a participant in the Fulbright Scholar program to Germany and later that year was an exchange delegate to France for the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA).
In 1999, Dr. Mercer was awarded the John Jones Award for Outstanding Performance as a Dean by NASPA and in 2004 she received the Distinguished Service Award from the Texas Association of College and University Student Personnel Administrators.
Most recently, Dr. Mercer served as a team leader for the Texas International Education Consortium in its planning efforts for Prince Mohammed Bin Fahd University in Damman, Saudi Arabia and for Al Saleh University in Sana’a, Yemen. In 2010, Dr. Mercer was selected by the Foundation of the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators as a Pillar of the Profession .
Dr. Mercer has made numerous presentations at regional and national conferences and to academic and civic groups. She and her husband Jim are the parents of three children.
Dr. Dale E. Klein rejoined The University of Texas System in January of 2011 as Associate Vice Chancellor for Research in the Office of Academic Affairs. In April of 2010, after serving 8 ½ years as a Presidential Appointee, Dr. Klein returned to Texas from Washington, D.C., working at The University of Texas at Austin as the Associate Director of The Energy Institute, Associate Vice President for Research, and a Professor of Mechanical Engineering (Nuclear Program).
Dr. Klein was sworn into the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission in 2006, and was appointed Chairman by President George W. Bush, serving in that role from July 2006 to May 2009. As Chairman, Dr. Klein was the principal executive officer and official spokesman for the NRC, responsible for conducting the administrative, organizational, long-range planning, budgetary, and certain personnel functions of the agency. Additionally, he had the ultimate authority for all NRC functions pertaining to an emergency involving an NRC licensee. The remainder of this term was as Commissioner of the NRC from May 2009 to March 2010.
Before joining the NRC, Dr. Klein served as the Assistant to the Secretary of Defense for Nuclear, Chemical, and Biological Defense Programs. He was appointed to this position by President George W. Bush and confirmed by the Senate in 2001. In this position, he served as the principal staff assistant and advisor to the Secretary of Defense, Deputy Secretary of Defense, and the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics for all policy and planning matters related to nuclear weapons and nuclear, chemical, and biological defense programs.
Previously, Dr. Klein served as the Vice-Chancellor for Special Engineering Programs at The University of Texas System and as a professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering (Nuclear Program) at The University of Texas at Austin. During his tenure at the university, Dr. Klein was Director of the Nuclear Engineering Teaching Laboratory, Deputy Director of the Center for Energy Studies, and Associate Dean for Research and Administration in the College of Engineering.
Honors and awards Dr. Klein has received include the Henry DeWolf Smyth Nuclear Statesman award in 2011, Fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and the American Nuclear Society, Engineer of the Year for the State of Texas, the University of Missouri Faculty-Alumni Award, and the University of Missouri Honor Award for Distinguished Service in Engineering.
A native of Missouri, Dr. Klein holds a doctorate in nuclear engineering from the University of Missouri-Columbia. He has published more than 100 technical papers and reports, and co-edited one book. He has made more than 400 presentations on energy and has written numerous technical editorials on energy issues that have been published in major newspapers throughout the United States.
Linda Johnsrud, appointed January 1, 2014, as Associate Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs for the University of Texas System, served most recently as Executive Vice President/Provost for Academic Affairs for the University of Hawaiʻi System.
Dr. Johnsrud built a distinguished career at the University of Hawaiʻi for the past 25 years. Professor of higher education at University of Hawaiʻi Mānoa, Dr. Johnsrud published extensively on work life issues of faculty and administrative staff, with particular attention to issues of morale, mobility, and mentoring. She served in a variety of roles both on campus and at the system, including chair of the University of Hawaiʻi Mānoa Faculty Senate, associate dean for the University of Hawaiʻi Mānoa College of Education, interim chancellor at University of Hawaiʻi West O’ahu, interim vice chancellor for academic affairs at University of Hawaiʻi Mānoa, and associate vice president for planning and policy at the University of Hawaiʻi System. Dr. Johnsrud served as chief academic officer for the ten campus University of Hawaiʻi System since 2005.
Nationally, she was elected to the Executive Council of the American Educational Research Association (AERA) and served as president for the Association for the Study of Higher Education (ASHE). She was selected as a Fellow in the American Council on Education (ACE) Fellows program, serving the University of Minnesota System. A frequent speaker on campus and in the community, Dr. Johnsrud has worked with colleges and universities in Minnesota, Arizona, Guam, Japan, Korea, and Western Australia. She held a three year term as consulting editor for the leading academic journal, Research in Higher Education.
Under Dr. Johnsrud’s leadership, the university established the public agenda for higher education in Hawaiʻi that served as the basis for the strategic directions and performance measures established in 2008 for the University of Hawaiʻi system. Dr. Johnsrud also led the Hawaiʻi Graduation Initiative, which has produced significant increases in the number of degrees and certificates awarded across the 10 campuses. She also spearheaded the expansion of the university’s mission in the Board of Regents policy to embrace institutional responsibility to Hawaiʻi’s indigenous people, language and culture. Dr. Johnsrud may be best known for the creation of the President’s Emerging Leaders Program (PELP), the 15 to Finish campaign and her strong advocacy of P–20: Partners in Education.
In 2009, Dr. Johnsrud was named Pacific Business Woman of the Year by Pacific Business News for her leadership, service to the community and as a “woman who means business.”
Dr. Johnsrud received her doctorate from Ohio State University in higher education and her master‘s degree from Western Illinois University in college student personnel administration. She also holds a bachelor‘s degree in English Education from the University of Wisconsin
Tony Cucolo joined the University of Texas System in April 2015 as Associate Vice Chancellor for Leadership Development and Veterans Affairs.
In this role, Mr. Cucolo is responsible for working with all academic and health institutions in the areas of leadership development for undergraduate and graduate students, leadership development programs for mid-level and senior campus leaders, and the establishment of an executive level leadership institute. Additionally, he is responsible for the coordination and integration of veterans’ affairs and veterans support activities across all institutions. He serves as the system’s liaison to campus ROTC programs and is also a member of UT System’s Department of Defense Advisory Group.
Mr. Cucolo served more than 35 years in the U.S. Army, retiring at the rank of Major General in September 2014. Before joining the UT System, his final tour of duty was spent leading the US Army War College, an accredited institution for strategic studies, whose student bodies include senior US and foreign national security professionals preparing for leadership positons at the strategic level of the government and the military.
While serving as a General Officer for the last eleven years of his military career, Mr. Cucolo led Soldiers in Afghanistan and Iraq, led analysis teams in combat zones and on natural disaster recovery efforts such as Hurricane Katrina, commanded the largest Army base east of the Mississippi, developed the $35B equipment program for the Army, served as the US Army’s Chief of Public Affairs, and was the Commandant of the US Army War College. In the eight months since his transition to civilian life and joining the UT System, he was the senior advisor to a strategic studies group and a mentor to three executive leader development courses.
Commissioned a Second Lieutenant of Infantry in 1979, he served worldwide leading organizations varying in size from 100 personnel to 22,000, commanding units from company through division level, and spending over half of his career directly leading operations. Most notably, three times in the last 20 years of his service he led organizations in significant high risk confidence-building efforts between ethnic and religious antagonists. In Bosnia, he encouraged Muslim, Serb, and Croat leaders to reach agreements on a range of issues, bringing stability to a hotly contested region. In Afghanistan, he led initial tripartite efforts between U.S., Afghan and Pakistan military leaders. In Iraq, as commander of U.S. forces in the seven provinces north of Baghdad, he successfully initiated a grass-roots effort to build confidence between Iraqi Arabs and Iraqi Kurds along their disputed ethnic fault line crossing that country from Syria to Iran.
Mr. Cucolo had four assignments at the Pentagon: three with the Army Staff at varying times in Congressional Activities, Public Affairs, and Program Analysis, and one tour with the Joint Staff from 2001-2003 in the Operations Directorate immediately after 9/11, and then in the Strategy and Policy Directorate working European issues. His professional military education includes the US Marine Corps Amphibious Warfare School, the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, and the U.S. Army War College.
He earned a bachelor’s degree from the United States Military Academy at West Point and a master’s degree from the University of San Francisco. Among his awards are three Distinguished Service medals, the Bronze Star, the U.S. State Department Superior Achievement award and the French Legion of Honor. He is a Disabled Veteran.
Mr. Cucolo and his wife Ginger have three grown children, a devoted Great Dane, an ambivalent cat, and divide time between Austin and Wimberley.