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Bob McPherson

Professor of Counseling Psychology, College of Education,
Special Assistant to the UH System Chancellor and President
Associated Faculty, Hobby School of Public Affairs



Robert “Bob” McPherson, professor of counseling psychology, has held numerous leadership roles during his four decades at the University of Houston. Currently he serves as special assistant to UH System Chancellor and President Renu Khator, co-chairing two University task forces related to the promotion of mental health and the prevention of suicide within the UH community. Most recently, he served as interim senior vice chancellor for academic affairs for the UH System and senior vice president for academic affairs and provost for UH from Aug. 1, 2022, through Jan. 31, 2023. He held the Elizabeth D. Rockwell Chair and served as dean of the UH College of Education from 2011 through July 2022, overseeing increased funded research activity, a transformation of the teacher education program, the launch of two new Ph.D. programs and other academic gains.

McPherson’s other positions included interim associate provost for academic affairs and operations for UH at Sugar Land and at Katy; assistant to the vice chancellor for student affairs/dean of students; coordinator of Learning Support Services; and staff psychologist at Counseling and Psychological Services. In the College of Education, he also served as Ph.D. program director, department chair and executive associate dean.

He is a Fellow of the American Educational Research Association and the American Psychological Association. He also is a member of the National Academies of Practice and is past president of the APA Council of Counseling Psychology Training Programs as well as the Texas and Houston Psychological Associations.

He earned the 2018 Robert B. Howsam Award from the Texas Association of Colleges for Teacher Education and the Lifetime Achievement Award in 2015 from the Texas Psychological Association. He is a recipient of APA’s Karl F. Heiser Award for Advocacy.

McPherson began his career as a classroom teacher and guidance counselor at a high-poverty Title I school in Odessa, Texas. He was one of the first graduates of UH’s counseling psychology Ph.D. program in 1987. He has a B.S. from Texas Tech University and an M.A. from The University of Texas Permian Basin.