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Provost's Cabinet

Find information on members of the Provost’s Cabinet below, including Vice and Associate Provosts and other executive leaders in Academic Affairs.

jamesbriggs_image-31.png James Briggs, Ph.D.
Associate Provost for Faculty Development and Faculty Affairs

Responsible for activities related to the recruitment, hiring, orientation, professional development, recognition, and promotion and tenure of faculty.

Dr. James Briggs is Associate Provost for Faculty Development and Faculty Affairs at the University of Houston. As Associate Provost, he is responsible for managing all activities related to faculty recruitment, onboarding, professional development, recognition, and promotion and tenure at UH.

Prior to being appointed to this role, Dr. James Briggs served as Professor and Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs for the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics (NSM) and was previously Chair of the Department of Biology and Biochemistry. He also served as Chair of the Budget and Facilities Committee of the Faculty Senate for two years and served many years on the UH Intellectual Property Committee. His research within NSM consists of highly interdisciplinary and collaborative areas of computational chemistry/biochemistry. He developed and applied computational methods to problems of chemical and biochemical interest, including computer-aided drug discovery and computational biophysics. Dr. Briggs has also co-founded three UH spinoff companies using licensed UH intellectual property.

Dr. Briggs is a Senior Member of the National Academy of Inventors and is a member of the Editorial Advisory Board for the Journal of Molecular Graphics and Modeling. He also is an Associate Editor for the journal PLoS Computational Biology.

He holds a Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry from Purdue University and a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry from the University of Texas at El Paso.

Joseph CurtinJoseph A. Curtin, Ph.D.
Associate Provost, Institutional Research and Effectiveness

Responsible for all aspects of the development, design, and implementation of institutional research and assessment initiatives including performance management, academic data management/ reporting, accreditation, and program evaluation.

Dr. Curtin joined the University of Houston in July of 2019 after serving as the Assistant Commissioner for Institutional Research with the Utah System of Higher Education (2008-2019). Prior to his work with the Utah system office, he was an Associate Director for Institutional Assessment and Analysis at Brigham Young University (1996-2008), and a Senior Research Analyst in the Office of Institutional Research and Planning at Utah Valley State College (1990-1996). In addition to his work in institutional research, assessment, and planning, Dr. Curtin has worked as an adjunct faculty member teaching Introduction to Statistics for the Behavioral Sciences at Utah Valley University and Budget and Planning in Higher Education at the University of Utah.

He has earned a B.S. in Information Management (1989), a MPA - Public Administration (1996), and a Ph.D. in Instructional Psychology and Technology (2007) with an emphasis in research, measurement, and evaluation from Brigham Young University.

He has presented at numerous regional and national conferences for groups such as Association for Institutional Research (AIR), American Educational Research Association (AERA), International Objective Measurement Workshop (IOMW) among others. He has served as the President/Treasurer of the Rocky Mountain Association for Institutional Research (RMAIR) and as a National Center for Educational Statistics (NCES) IPEDS educator.

Sabrina Hassumani Sabrina Hassumani, Ph.D.
Associate Provost for Finance and Administration

Responsible for division-wide management, compliance, and reporting for financial and HR resources.

Appointed in September 2014, Sabrina Hassumani serves as Associate Provost for Finance and Administration. In this position, Dr. Hassumani’s responsibilities include division-wide financial planning, budgeting, business operations, compliance, and human resources management. Prior to this appointment, she served as Assistant Provost of Planning and Policy, and Executive Director for Academic Budgets. Her experience external to UH includes eight years at the Texas Real Estate Commission (TREC). At TREC she facilitated revamping the agency’s strategic planning process, redesigned the website, and worked closely with the Texas Department of Information Resources to make TREC the first state agency to accept online license renewals. She earned her Ph.D. in English from the University of Houston, where her graduate work focused on critical theory and contemporary literature.

In addition to over 20 years of administrative experience in higher education, Dr. Hassumani has served as an adjunct lecturer since 1991. Courses she has taught at the University of Houston include Business Communications, Ethics, and Critical Thinking, American Literature since 1865, and Contemporary American Fiction. Her book entitled, Salman Rushdie: A Postmodern Reading of His Major Works was published by Fairleigh Dickinson University Press in 2002.

Erika Henderson, Ed.D.
Associate Provost of Faculty Recruitment and Retention

Responsible for designing and executing strategies to ensure that the University of Houston recruits and retains an excellent and diverse faculty.

Dr. Henderson has more than thirty years of experience leading organizational efforts to recruit, develop, and retain the best and brightest talent in the higher education and federal government sectors. She serves as associate provost for faculty recruitment and retention for the University of Houston.

Dr. Henderson previously served as senior policy advisor to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Assistant Secretary for the Employment and Training Administration. Prior to joining the Department of Labor, Dr. Henderson was the Deputy Director for the nonpartisan White House Fellows program, the nation’s premier fellowship for public service and leadership. 

Dr. Henderson has also held other leadership positions in higher education. She has extensive experience in program administration, leadership development, strategic planning, and the delivery of effective organizational recruitment campaigns.

A native of Houston, she holds a Doctorate in Higher Education from George Washington University, as well as a Bachelor of Science in Business Management and a Master of Arts in Counseling, both from Hampton University. Dr. Henderson serves on the editorial board for INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine, which is the oldest and largest diversity magazine and website in higher education today.


Sarah Larsen Sarah Larsen, Ph.D.
Vice Provost and Dean, Graduate School

Responsible for planning and developing a University of Houston graduate school, including the coordination of graduate admissions, the implementation of graduate school policies and procedures, and ensuring adequate financial support for graduate students.

Teri Elkins Longacre Teri Elkins Longacre, J.D., Ph.D.
Vice Provost and Dean, Undergraduate Student Success

Responsible for articulating and implementing a strategic vision for the university’s undergraduate student success efforts, including academic advising, research opportunities, and improvement of academic programs.

Teri Elkins Longacre currently serves as Vice Provost and Dean for Undergraduate Student Success in the Office of Academic Affairs and is an Associate Professor of Management at the C. T. Bauer College of Business at the University of Houston, where she joined the faculty in 1997. Teri previously served as Associate Dean for Academic Affairs in Bauer and as the University of Houston Faculty and Staff Ombudsperson. 

She received her undergraduate degree from Baylor University and a Ph.D. and J.D. from the University of Houston. She teaches in the areas of business law, employment law, managerial communication, human resource management, and organizational behavior, and coordinates an internship program with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Teri has published scholarly articles on the topics of employment discrimination, employee selection practices, affirmative action plans, leadership, and academic internship programs. Her articles have appeared in the Journal of Applied Psychology, Journal of Applied Social Psychology, Leadership Quarterly, Sex Roles, Cornell Hospitality Quarterly, SAM Advanced Management Journal, International Journal of Innovation and Technology Management, Journal of Managerial Issues, International Journal of Human Resource Management, and the Journal of Occupational Health Psychology.


Jeff Morgan Jeff Morgan, Ph.D.
Associate Provost for Education Innovation and Technology

Responsible for assessing the effectiveness of different teaching modalities and identifying technologies to advance learning and teaching.

Jeff Morgan has held the position of associate provost for education innovation and technology at the University of Houston (UH) since January 2014, after serving in an interim role for the previous 7 months. Prior to that time, he held a number of positions at UH, including department chair in mathematics from 2003 to 2013, the founder and director of the center for academic support and assessment since 2004, and the co-founder and co-director of the teachHOUSTON STEM teacher training program since 2007.

Morgan obtained his bachelors, masters and doctoral degree from the University of Houston, and then spent 16 years at Texas A&M University (TAMU) prior to returning to UH in 2002. He has received numerous teaching awards at TAMU and UH, including a Piper teaching award in the spring of 2013. Morgan is a passionate teacher, and a strong advocate of the use of technology, both inside and outside the classroom. He has worked with k12 teachers through his direction of the Houston Area Calculus Teachers Association since 2001, he has created and facilitated the development of a multitude of online learning materials for a variety of mathematics courses, he has helped developed a considerable amount of instructional software, and developed numerous courses that have been taught in both live and live-online formats.

Jay Neal Jay Neal, Ph.D.
Associate Vice President of Academic Affairs and Chief Operating Officer of University of Houston at Sugar Land and University of Houston at Katy

Dr. Neal currently serves as the Associate Vice President of Academic Affairs and Chief Operating Officer of the University of Houston at Sugar Land and University of Houston at Katy. He also served as an associate professor at the UH Conrad N. Hilton College of Hotel and Restaurant Management where he taught for more than 15 years, and as the Interim Director of the Hilton College at San Antonio.

Dr. Neal has a Ph.D. in Food Microbiology from Texas A&M University, and a B.S. and a Master's degree in Hotel and Restaurant Management from the University of Houston. Additionally, he has industry experience in the food and beverage sector, and is a member of the International Association of Food Protection, a member of the Institute of Food Technologists, and a member of the Research Chefs Association. He is a past recipient of the Donald Greenway Award for Teaching Excellence. 

Michael Pelletier Michael Pelletier, U.S. Ambassador (ret'd)
Founding Executive Director, Institute for Global Engagement

Ambassador (ret’d) Michael Pelletier was appointed as the founding Executive Director of the Aspire Initiative Endowed Institute for Global Engagement at the University of Houston on August 1, 2021.

Previously, he served as the U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Madagascar and the Union of the Comoros from January 2019 through June 2021. Ambassador Pelletier retired as a career member of the Senior Foreign Service, class of MinisterCounselor, having served as an American diplomat from 1987-2021. Ambassador Pelletier oversaw professional tradecraft, orientation, and area studies training as Dean of the School of Professional and Area Studies at the Foreign Service Institute, United States Department of State. He also served at eight U.S. Missions overseas and in senior leadership positions at the U.S. Department of State, including as Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. embassy in New Delhi, India, and Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Bureau of African Affairs.

Ambassador Pelletier earned a B.S.F.S. from Georgetown University, a Certificat d’Etudes Politiques from Institut d’Etudes Politiques, Paris, France, and a M.I.A. from Columbia University. He received thirteen senior State Department awards, including a Presidential Meritorious Service Award and the Linguist of the Year. Amb. Pelletier is fluent in English, French, and Arabic.

Ambassador Pelletier is on the Board of Amideast, a leading American nonprofit organization engaged in international education, training, and development activities in the Middle East and North Africa. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the American Academy of Diplomacy, the Texas Advisory Committee of the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition, and the Public Diplomacy Council of America. He was named an honorary member of Phi Beta Delta, the honor society for international scholars.