Graphic with a head shot photo of Jim Stice in his later years of teaching. He's wearing a suit and tie and eye glasses. The graphic reads, "Celebrating the Life of Jim E. Stice, the Bob R. Dorsey Professor Emeritus in Engineering, Sept. 19, 1929 through July 16, 2022.

The McKetta Department of Chemical Engineering is saddened to share the news that James "Jim" Edward Stice, the Bob R. Dorsey Professor Emeritus in Engineering, passed away on July 16, 2022 at the age of 93 in Austin, Texas.

Jim joined The University of Texas at Austin as an associate professor in 1972 and climbed the ranks to full professor to serve more than 26 years in chemical engineering. He also held courtesy appointments in aerospace engineering and mechanical engineering.

One of Jim’s most evident academic passions and legacies was helping fellow faculty members—and graduate students who aimed to become professors one day—develop and improve their teaching skills. His leadership expanded teaching excellence programs from the Forty Acres all the way up to a National Effective Teaching Institute. Jim was widely recognized for his efforts, including multiple lifetime achievement awards from professional organizations.

Back in 1968, after giving a talk at the American Society of Engineering Education (ASEE) Annual Meeting, Jim was approached by John McKetta, who was then Dean of Engineering at UT Austin. Impressed with what he’d heard, John invited Jim to come to Texas to start a Bureau of Engineering Teaching. The rest is history, as they say.

Jim ramped up the new bureau with weekly presentations of teaching strategies, monthly faculty luncheons covering topics like self-paced instruction for mastery and use of learning objectives. He started a course in college teaching for graduate students that explored methods to help people learn, such as instructional objectives, lecturing, programmed instruction, guided design, tips on test taking and test preparation, personality profiles, audiovisual materials and equipment, etc.

The course’s intent was not only to give students useful ideas if they decided to become professors, but perhaps more importantly, and fundamentally, to allow them to see if a career in education would be a good fit for them as opposed to a research-focused trajectory.

The bureau’s popularity spilled over to math, physics and chemistry faculty. Soon enough, Jim was the driving force for the creation of the university’s Center for Teaching Effectiveness— the nation’s first university-wide program to train teachers.

At another ASEE conference, this time in 1989, Jim teamed up with Richard Felder from North Carolina State University to co-found a three-day workshop that became the National Effective Teaching Institute (NETI). And, in in 2014 ASEE recognized Jim with a Lifetime Achievement Award, as did Marquis Who's Who in 2020.

On his faculty profile, Jim wrote, “Few universities offer courses in teaching at the college level because the prevailing philosophy is that graduate teaching experience and knowledge of a subject are sufficient preparation. They are not.

“Graduate teaching assistants limited to helping with a laboratory course or leading a discussion group for a large lecture class do not gain broad experience in effective educational practices; many engineering instructors enter the teaching field largely unprepared for their new careers. Structured training in educational philosophy and technique gives graduate students critical preparation for a teaching career, the opportunity to examine the field of engineering education closely—and to choose a career in it more wisely.”

Jim’s interest in each and every student, his wit and exemplary teaching methods made him a very popular and successful teacher. He was an invaluable asset to our department, the university and ultimately our profession. He will be dearly missed by many of his colleagues and certainly by many of his former students.

For more insight into Jim’s legacy and life beyond engineering you can read his full obituary, which will also be published in the Austin American-Statesman on Sunday, July 24. You can also read a tribute to Jim written by Richard Felder in 2009 called, “A Teacher’s Teacher”.

Memorial Service Information

A memorial will be held Thursday, August 4, 2022, at 2 p.m., at Weed Corley Fish located at 5416 Parkcrest Dr., Austin, TX 78731 (map).

Memorial gifts can be made to the Patsy Stice Memorial Graduate Fellowship in Social Work at UT Austin by contacting Cassie Bernhardt at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. If you’d like to honor Jim Stice in the McKetta Department of Chemical Engineering please contact Marisa Meier at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..