For thirty-one years, Ted Estess was the leader of Honors education at the University of Houston, first as Director of the Honors Program, and then, in 1993, as Founding Dean of the Honors College. While Dean, Estess often joined other Honors Faculty in teaching, the high quality of which was recognized by his receiving the University of Houston Teaching Excellence Award.
Though he left the deanship in August of 2008, Estess remains a member of the Honors College Faculty and a Professor in the Department of English at the University of Houston. In Honors, he also holds the Jane Morin Cizik Chair. Estess holds a Ph.D. in Humanities from Syracuse University.
He has contributed a wide range of scholarship and creative work and has incorporated this research into his teaching and service. He has published a book on Nobel Peace Prize winner and Holocaust writer Elie Wiesel and a number of articles on various writers and topics. Most recently, he has been writing and publishing non-fiction life stories - his collections The Cream Pitcher: Mississippi Stories and Be Well: Reflections on Graduating from College are both available by writing to Dr. Estess.
Ted Estess’ teaching of Honors classes has concentrated in the Humanities, especially in a yearlong, ten-hour, team-taught course required of all Honors students at the University of Houston entitled The Human Situation. He also has taught upper-level English Honors seminars dealing with contemporary American fiction. As Dean, he worked with faculty from across the University in devising and assessing Honors courses that are appropriate for their respective disciplines. (Ph.D., Syracuse University)
When Professor Estess stepped down as dean of the Honors College in 2008, he left behind not just a legacy of academic excellence but an actual community of scholars - the Estess Scholars, supported by the Ted L. Estess Scholarship Endowment.