Chris Brownson is an Associate Vice President for Student Affairs and Director of the Counseling and Mental Health Center at the University of Texas at Austin. His portfolio also includes University Health Services, the Longhorn Wellness Center, and the Center for Students in Recovery. Brownson was appointed as a Chancellor's Health Fellow at the University of Texas System in 2014, and he currently leads a $6 million project implementing after hours crisis counseling in all 14 academic and health institutions in the UT System as well as bystander intervention, alcohol prevention and early intervention, and collegiate recovery centers at the 8 academic institutions in the UT System.
In 2019, Brownson was appointed by the National Academies of Sciences to the Committee on Supporting the Whole Student: Mental Health, Substance Abuse, and Well-Being in Higher Education. He is the past president of the Texas University and College Counseling Center Director's Association and a past chair of the Higher Education Mental Health Alliance, the Section on College and University Counseling Centers of APA's Division of Counseling Psychology, and the Mental Health Section of the American College Health Association (ACHA). He is a past member of the Board of Directors of ACHA. He co-developed the Integrated Health Program at UT, which provides mental health services in the university's primary care clinic. He has been a program evaluator for several SAMHSA/GLS suicide prevention grants, consults with colleges and universities on their counseling and health services, and was the National Mental Health Consultant to Teach For America from 2006-2016.
Brownson has been the director of the National Research Consortium of Counseling Centers in Higher Education since 2004. The research team that guides Research Consortium projects is comprised of graduate students from UT, and together have conducted two large national studies on college student suicide, each involving 70 other institutions of higher education across the nation with over 26,000 research participants. Currently, Brownson and the Research Consortium team are leading a longitudinal study with 18 other institutions of higher education looking at the intersection of psychological factors and academic success.