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.
Rebecca Karoff joined the University of Texas System in February 2016 as Associate Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs. Her areas of responsibility include a number of student success initiatives and the implementation of the Chancellor’s Texas Prospect Initiative Quantum Leap, focused on building bridges and unprecedented collaboration between the State’s pre-K-12 educators and higher education.
With over 20 years working on public higher education at the system level, first in Wisconsin and now in Texas, she is dedicated to utilizing the power of the post-secondary state system as a catalyst for quality educational attainment, innovation, and transformation in the 21st-century global society.
Prior to joining the UT System, Dr. Karoff served as Senior Special Assistant to the Senior Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs at the University of Wisconsin System, where she utilized her extensive policy background to help drive proficiency-based curricular delivery and reform through a number of collaborative system-wide initiatives. She was the founder and director of LEAP Wisconsin, the UW System's partnership with the Association of American Colleges & Universities (AAC&U) on its Liberal Education and America’s Promise or LEAP Campaign. Since 2005, LEAP Wisconsin has functioned as the System’s quality agenda, centered on inclusive excellence as the driving force for educational attainment. In collaboration with provosts, deans, faculty, and instructional academic and student support staff from throughout the UW System, she worked to improve equitable student access, metrics, and outcomes relating to quality curricular and co-curricular educational experiences, and high‐impact practices.
Dr. Karoff has worked consistently to integrate high-quality professional and instructional development into the educational attainment and grant projects she has led. These grant-funded projects have been centered on student success and college readiness, including The Gates Foundation-funded State Systems Transformation grant, for which she served as co‐author and principal investigator. Additionally, Dr. Karoff played a lead role in the planning and development of The UW Flexible Option, the University of Wisconsin System’s online, competency-based educational program, and was the lead author and principal investigator of a Lumina Foundation grant to chronicle the development of UW Flex and to identify alternative student success metrics appropriate to competency‐based education, on which she still serves as principal investigator. With AAC&U, she led a number of grant-funded LEAP projects, in the UW System, including Give Students a Compass and Quality Collaboratives: Assessing and Reporting Degree Qualifications Profile Competencies in the Context of Transfer. Furthermore, she was the Wisconsin project lead on AAC&U’s newest Lumina Foundation-funded project, Faculty Collaboratives, designed to build faculty capacity in proficiency-based reform initiatives, focused on enhancing student learning.
In addition to her administrative appointments, Dr. Karoff served on the Advisory Board of the Center for the Study of Distance Education and Technological Advancement (DETA) at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, funded by the U.S. Department of Education’s Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education (FIPSE).
A native of Massachusetts, Dr. Karoff moved to Wisconsin to pursue graduate study in Comparative Literature. Before joining the UW System Administration, Dr. Karoff taught Comparative Literature at UW-Madison, from which she received Ph.D. and M.A. degrees. She earned a B.A. with Honors from Brown University. Additionally, Dr. Karoff has presented multiple times at various conferences over the years and has authored and co-authored many published articles, with two anticipated for release in 2016, on the topic of Competency-Based Education in Higher Education.
Rebecca and her husband Brad are the parents of two mostly-grown children, Jacob and Sophie.
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.
He also serves on the Board of the Southern Company and Pinnacle West / Arizona Public Service. Dr. Klein currently serves as the Chairman of the Nuclear Reform Monitoring Committee for the Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO). In addition, he serves on the Committee for Nuclear Power advising the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on their nuclear program.
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.
Dr. Kevin Lemoine joined The University of Texas System in July, 2012. As Associate Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, his primary responsibilities include reviewing proposals for new certificate and degree programs; changes to existing degree programs; proposals for new departments, schools, and colleges; and changes to an institution's undergraduate and graduate admissions policies. He leads the System-level review of promotion and tenure recommendations from the academic institutions that the Board of Regents considers annually. He leads a number of initiatives related to the Chancellor’s Framework for Advancing Excellence including ensuring the quality and high performance of new and existing Ph.D. programs. He also serves as the Office of Academic Affairs liaison to the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board.
As part of the establishment of The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, Dr. Lemoine has served as the lead System staff member on the degree program consolidation effort and on the establishment of graduate admissions criteria for all graduate programs. He has also worked on the task force charged with developing the Handbook of Operating Procedures for U.T. Rio Grande Valley.
Before joining the UT System, Dr. Lemoine served as the Deputy Assistant Commissioner in the Division of Workforce, Academic Affairs and Research at the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. In that role, he oversaw the Academic Affairs Department where he provided leadership on statewide policy initiatives related to undergraduate education, graduate education, and distance education. His responsibilities included implementing the Board's policies on new and existing degree program review, revising transfer policies such as the statewide core curriculum and the Lower-Division Academic Course Guide Manual, and developing the 18 Characteristics of Texas Doctoral Programs, among other initiatives. As Deputy Assistant Commissioner, he served as the chief operations officer for the Division, leading several major initiatives to streamline and standardize the processes related to program review, administration of grant programs, and other Division responsibilities.
Dr. Lemoine has worked actively in transfer policy research, development, and coordination. In collaboration with faculty groups, he was instrumental in the development of several voluntary transfer compacts designed to facilitate community college student migration to four-year institutions. He recently co-authored a peer-reviewed book chapter on the Texas transfer experience and a peer-reviewed article on the development of the voluntary transfer compact in mechanical engineering.
Previously, Dr. Lemoine served as the Assistant Director of University Extension in the Division of Continuing and Extended Education at The University of Texas at Austin. In that role, he managed the operations of a large program offering evening credit-bearing courses to non-traditional students coming back to college to complete a degree. Prior to that, he was a faculty member at the University of Minnesota where he taught undergraduate and graduate courses in French linguistics and second language teaching methods and served as the Director of the French language program. He has also taught at the Université de Nice and the Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1 in France.
Dr. Lemoine has an M.A. and Ph.D. in French from The University of Texas at Austin and a B.A. in French from the University of Southern Mississippi.
Alan joined the University of Texas System in February 2009 in the Office of General Counsel where he advised senior management, human resources and other in-house attorneys at the fifteen different educational and health institutions. Alan provided advice regarding governance and compliance, higher education issues, employment-related matters, contracts, policies and procedures, internal investigations, and other general litigation issues. In March of 2012, Alan became a member of the Office of Academic Affairs (OAA) where he currently serves as the Associate Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs & Athletics Counsel.
In his role as Associate Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, Alan provides strategic advice to the Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs on a wide range of issues concerning the eight academic campuses in the UT System. Alan oversees administrative and policy issues concerning the general academic institutions. He collaborates with senior campus leaders to address critical issues and changes facing the campuses, including the formulation and implementation of new policies, development of new initiatives, and management of media sensitive issues. Alan oversees and coordinates the handling of all student & faculty complaints from the academic institutions.
Alan works closely with the Office of Health Affairs and is currently playing an integral role in the development of two new medical schools at UT Austin and UT Rio Grande Valley. As the OAA Legal Liaison to the Board of Regents, he consults with and advises the Board of Regents Office regarding complex business, operational, management and legal issues facing the academic campuses. He is also the OAA Liaison to the Office of General Counsel, and works closely with this Office to resolve various legal issues facing the academic institutions, as well as analyze and coordinate contracts for the campuses. He collaborates with the Office of Governmental Relations concerning State and Federal legislative matters impacting the higher education industry.
In his role as Athletics Counsel for the System, Alan works with the athletic directors and athletics compliance officers to ensure that each academic institution is in compliance with all university, conference and NCAA rules and regulations governing the intercollegiate athletics operations at each campus. Alan is responsible for drafting and negotiating employment contracts for athletic personnel at the academic institutions. In addition, Alan, in coordination with the Office of General Counsel, handles all athletic related personnel issues including employment law matters and litigation.
Alan received his Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Louisiana State University in 1996 where he was a member of the Psychology National Honor Society. Alan received his Juris Doctor from Tulane University Law School in 1999. Alan practiced law at the Texas Office of the Attorney General for 2 years. Alan then practiced law at Clark, Thomas & Winters for several years before joining Thompson & Knight, LLP, in 2005 where he focused on health law, employment law and civil trial law.
He is currently a member of the National Association for Athletics Compliance, National Association of College & University Attorneys, Texas and Austin Bar Associations, and Austin Breakfast Group. In addition, Alan is a Fellow of the Texas Bar Foundation. Alan, and his wife Meredith, live in Austin and are the proud parents of three children, Miller, Madeline and Cannon. Alan enjoys volunteering as a coach at the West Austin Youth Association and Neighborhood Sports Association.