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Harrison receives emeritus designation (1-25-01)

Frank Harrison, M.D., Ph.D., who served The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio (UTHSC) as its first president from 1972 until his retirement in January 1985, has been named president emeritus. The U. T. System Board of Regents conferred the title.

The son of a Dallas neurologist, Dr. Harrison began his professional career teaching anatomy at the University of Tennessee in Memphis and eventually pursued a long and distinguished career of service within The University of Texas System, where he served as an associate dean at Southwestern Medical School in Dallas, president of U. T. Arlington and president of UTHSC San Antonio.

In 1972 the Board of Regents created four health science centers in Texas, uniting existing biomedical schools in Galveston, Dallas, San Antonio and Houston. Dr. Harrison was brought from the presidency of U. T. Arlington to helm the San Antonio Health Science Center. During his tenure, he oversaw UTHSC’s growth from an enrollment of 550 students, a research budget of $3.1 million and a budget of $10 million to an enrollment of 2,300, a research budget of nearly $40 million and a budget of $128 million.

"He's very quiet," recalled E. Don Walker, former chancellor of the U. T. System, when Dr. Harrison retired. "His style is to work with people, to get people to work with each other, and he is very capable in that area. Frank Harrison is one of the most able academic administrators I've been privileged to work with."

In addition to helping create the Southwest Research Consortium early in his tenure and shepherding the growth of the five schools under his direction, he was instrumental in building the initial cooperative agreements that exist between other institutions and the university, and in establishing the Health Careers High School. He also was instrumental in developing recommendations that led to the creation of the Institute of Biotechnology in the Texas Research Park.

"There was no doubt in my mind that there would be a great medical center here, but I had no idea about its rate of growth," Dr. Harrison said during a retirement interview. "It developed faster and better than anyone could have guessed."

Contact: Will Sansom