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Notes from the Chancellor » McSween is SEC’s Top Professor

McSween is SEC’s Top Professor

Hap McSween

I’m very pleased to tell you that Harry "Hap" McSween has been named the Southeastern Conference Professor of the Year. We're very proud of Hap and extremely fortunate to have him as part of our UT family.

Hap is a Chancellor’s Professor and distinguished professor in Earth and Planetary Sciences. He is world-renowned for his research on meteorites and Mars and his work with NASA.

He is an extraordinary scientist, teacher, and researcher—and a stellar representative of our university.

The SEC Professor of the Year Award honors an SEC faculty member whose record in research, scholarship, and service places him among the elite in higher education.

Hap has been at UT for 35 years. He has served as head of the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences for almost fifteen years, as associate dean for research in the College of Arts and Sciences for two years, and as interim dean of the College of Arts and Science in 2004-2005 and 2011-2012. He was also the College of Arts and Sciences’ College Marshal, the highest college honor bestowed upon a faculty member.

A fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Hap has received the National Academy of Sciences’ J. Lawrence Smith Medal for his pioneering studies of meteorites and the geological history of Mars. In 1999, he led a research team that discovered geologic evidence on a meteorite that water existed deep in Mars’s crust.

This is the second year the Professor of the Year award has been given as part of the SEC Academic Consortium’s efforts to encourage academic leadership and collaboration.

Each SEC school chooses a nominee who receives an SEC Faculty Achievement Award that carries a $5,000 honorarium from the Southeastern Conference. From that group, the SEC schools’ provosts chose Hap as the SEC Professor of the Year.

As this year’s winner, Hap receives an additional $15,000 honorarium and will be honored at the SEC Spring Banquet in Destin, Florida, next month.