Dr. Juan E. González is the first holder of the Francis S. Johnson Chair for Graduate Education. The chair was established to honor the legacy of the University’s first acting president, Dr. Francis “Frank” Johnson, and to recognize the contributions he made as graduate dean of UT Dallas. This chair was created with funds from the Excellence in Education Foundation Endowment in appreciation of the recent $5.5 million gift from the estate of Francis and Maurine Johnson that created seven Francis S. and Maurine G. Johnson Chairs in the School of Natural Sciences and Mathematics.
A professor of molecular and cell biology, González is dean of graduate education and associate provost, serving on campuswide initiatives for graduate student recruiting and application processes.
Our success as an institution of higher education has always been premised on our research accomplishments. It is my goal to support those accomplishments by being an active advocate for attaining the highest level of excellence in postgraduate education at our institution while promoting a rich diversity of people and ideas.
Dr. Juan E. González was named dean of graduate education and associate provost at The University of Texas at Dallas in 2018.
A professor of molecular and cell biology, González previously served as associate dean of graduate studies in the School of Natural Sciences and Mathematics as well as on campuswide initiatives for graduate student recruiting and application processes.
“Graduate education is at the core of our institution’s DNA. Having the opportunity to enhance and expand our graduate programs is a privilege,” he said.
“Competition for top-level students is constant and fierce. We need to be prepared to pivot and adapt to new opportunities and challenges when attracting and retaining both domestic and international students.”
González joined the UT Dallas faculty in 1996 after receiving his doctorate in microbiology and molecular genetics from the University of California, Los Angeles, and completing postdoctoral work at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he held a Jane Coffin Childs Memorial Fund Postdoctoral Fellowship. He earned a bachelor’s degree in microbiology and public health from Michigan State University.
During his career, González has published numerous articles in peer-reviewed journals, refereed conference proceedings and chapters in edited volumes on his research on the mechanisms governing bacterium-host recognition, quorum sensing and the events leading to symbiosis. His research has been funded by grants from the National Science Foundation (NSF), the National Institutes of Health and the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. González has been an invited speaker to over 50 national and international talks and conferences. He also has been the research supervisor of numerous doctoral, master’s and baccalaureate degree students.
González has been active in programs aimed at attracting international students, including chairing a University task force that studied UT Dallas’ international recruitment efforts and strategies. In addition, for nearly 15 years, González has served as campus director of the NSF-supported Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Student Participation, which is tasked with increasing the diversity of students successfully completing STEM baccalaureates and encouraging more underrepresented students to consider graduate study programs.
González said UT Dallas’ commitment to research, among both students and faculty, is a strength that sets the University apart.
“Our success as an institution of higher education has always been premised on our research accomplishments,” he said. “It is my goal to support those accomplishments by being an active advocate for attaining the highest level of excellence in postgraduate education at our institution while promoting a rich diversity of people and ideas.”