Rawls College Home HOM HomeDr. Buesseler

John Aure Buesseler, M.D., M.S.B.A.(1920-2013)

Founding Chairman and Professor of the Health Organization Management Department

Dr. Buesseler received his baccalaureate degree and his medical degree, both with honors, from the University of Wisconsin. While Professor and founding Chief of Ophthalmology at the University of Missouri-Columbia, he pursued his interest in administration by Earning a Master of Science degree in Business Administration majoring in Management and Employee Relations with emphasis on professional personnel. During this time, the Department of Ophthalmology grew under his guidance to a multi-institutional pre- and post-doctoral specialty training program with 12 resident physicians and a staff of 9 faculty members by 1965.

While on sabbatical leave, he completed a year of course work in Business and Public Administration at Cornell University Graduate School majoring in Organizational Theory and Behavior. He thereupon completed all of the requirements in 1970 except the writing of a dissertation for a Ph.D. degree in Business and Public Administration.

In 1970 Dr. Buesseler was appointed as Founding Vice President for Health Affairs of the Texas Tech University Complex, Founding Chief Executive Officer of the Texas Tech Health Sciences Center, and Founding Dean of the Texas Tech School of Medicine. He operationally defined an area study in order to identify West Texas, Texas, and Southwestern United States regional resources and needs, innovatively conceptualized the mission of the new institution, and accomplished long and short range financial, facilities, and personnel planning. As Texas Tech Health Sciences Center’s first full-time employee, he planned, programmed the development, organized the management structure, and staffed the Medical School so that it was operational with freshman and junior classes of medical students enrolled within 23 months of his arrival. This is considered a national time record for the establishment of an accredited modern medical school.

In 1972 he was appointed Founding Vice President for Health Sciences Center. During his five years as Vice President, he successfully submitted the proposals for and the TTUHSC was authorized by the State of Texas to establish the four additional health science schools that he planned for this new health sciences university: Allied Health Sciences, Veterinary and Zoological Medicine, Pharmacy, and Nursing.

It was his role as founding Dean of the Medical School that he conceptualized, obtained authorization and funding, and instituted the operation of the following innovative departments as the first of their kind based in a medical school: the Department of Health Communications with the first Master of Science degree program in Health Communications; the Department of Biomedical Engineering; the Department of Computer Medicine and Biomathematics; the Department of Environmental Health; the Department of Health Organization Management; and the Department of Forensic Medicine. These were full-status academic departments on an equal administrative and academic basis with all other clinical and basic science departments in the Medical School. In addition, as the first of its kind in this country, the Ambulatory Patient Care Clinics were physically incorporated into the Medical School as an integrated activity in that teaching environment rather than as the traditionally detached out-patient clinic in an affiliated teaching hospital operated by another agency.

For his achievements at Texas Tech, Dr. Buesseler was honored by being designated a distinguished and multidisciplinary University Professor by the Board of Regents (the third individual so honored in the University’s History). He is also the recipient of that Board of Regents Resolution of Congratulations, and two certificates of Citation from the State of Texas House of Representatives for his accomplishments on behalf of the University and the State of Texas. In 2005 he was conferred the degree of Doctor of Humane Letters, Honoris Causa.

In 2010, Dr Buesseler was recognized as a Rawls College of Business distinguished alumnus.