Vice Presidents for Research, Communications Appointed

UT Dallas President Richard C. Benson appointed two vice presidents to his cabinet

Editors’ Note: This feature appears as it was published in the winter 2019 edition of UT Dallas Magazine. Titles or faculty members listed may have changed since that time.
Dr. Joseph Pancrazio 
Dr. Joseph Pancrazio, associate provost and professor of bioengineering at UT Dallas, was named vice president for research.
“Dr. Pancrazio has a deep understanding of the issues and opportunities that are critical to maintain and expand a dynamic university research program,” Benson said. “His expertise is especially pertinent when it comes to conducting and overseeing interdisciplinary collaboration, which is one of the hallmarks of the UT Dallas research enterprise.”
The Office of Research oversees research funding, grants and contracts; campus research facilities and information systems; technology commercialization and licensing; compliance and safety; and the Institutional Review Board, which approves research involving human subjects.
Before joining the faculty of the Erik Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science at UT Dallas in 2015, Pancrazio was a professor and founding chair of the Department of Bioengineering at George Mason University. He also was program director for the neural engineering and neural prosthesis program at the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. As an assistant professor in Georgetown University’s Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, he worked at the Center for Bio/Molecular Science and Engineering at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory in Washington, D.C.
Pancrazio earned his bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and his master’s and doctorate in biomedical engineering from the University of Virginia.


John Walls 
John Walls was appointed vice president for communications, a position that oversees all of the University’s media, marketing and web services functions. He had served for two years in the role on an interim basis.
“John Walls has demonstrated excellent work and professional judgment and an ability to work collaboratively across the University to help elevate the UT Dallas brand,” Benson said. “His breadth of experience in both the public and private sectors has helped him fulfill critical responsibilities in media relations, crisis management and marketing.”
Walls joined UT Dallas in 2010 to oversee media relations for the University. Under his leadership since 2016, the communications staff implemented a redesign of UT Dallas’ News Center, expanded visual storytelling and added new social media channels to enhance communications with external audiences.
Walls previously worked with Fortune 500 companies, including TXU Corp. and health care corporations, and with academic and research institutions, including UT Southwestern Medical Center and the Texas Tech University System. He and his teams routinely earned numerous awards for marketing, advertising, public relations, and government and community affairs programs. He began his career at the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal, where he worked as a public affairs reporter.
Walls has a bachelor’s degree in economics from UT Austin and a master’s degree in mass communications from Texas Tech.