Robert Novak, PhD
Director, Center of Excellence in Communication Sciences and Disorders
Dr. Novak is the Director of the Center of Excellence in Communication Sciences and Disorders (CECSD) in the Department of Otolaryngology – Head & Neck Surgery at the UT Health Science Center, with a joint appointment in the Audie L. Murphy VA Hospital Geriatric Research, Education and Clinical Center (GRECC) and Audiology Service. He received his Bachelor’s degree in general science/speech & hearing science, Master’s degree in Audiology, and PhD in Audiology/Hearing Science from the University of Iowa, Iowa City, and has been a faculty member and program administrator at San Diego State University, University of Virginia, and Purdue University. Dr. Novak currently serves as the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) Vice President for Standards and Ethics in Audiology and has served as a member and chair of the ASHA Council for Clinical Certification (CFCC) in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology as well as a member and site visitor for the ASHA Council for Academic Accreditation (CAA) for programs in Audiology and Speech-language Pathology. He has also served as Vice President for Professional Development on the Board of Directors of the Council of Academic Programs in Communication Sciences and Disorders.
Dr. Novak specializes in the areas of hearing amplification for adults, hearing conservation, educational audiology, and adult/geriatric hearing rehabilitation. His research/clinical/academic interests focus on innovative approaches to mitigating the discrepancy between number of individuals in the US with significant hearing loss (estimates of 31+ million) and those who receive appropriate hearing health care (estimates of only 24%), with current interests in the application of telepractice technologies. He is working with the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders at the University of Texas-Austin to add a joint University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio (UTHSCSA) consortium component to the existing UT-Austin Doctor of Audiology degree program. This consortium would enable Au.D. students in the joint program to rotate through all collaborating VA, DOD and public/private sector audiology/otolaryngology preceptor sites in the greater San Antonio region during their third and fourth years, as well as facilitate translational clinical research collaborations among faculty and students at the two UT institutions. The collaborative UT-Austin/UTHSCSA consortium would support the additional Au.D. program foci of VA/DOD audiology practice, bilingual student and patient populations with outreach to South Texas, and innovative approaches to audiology service delivery with the goal of expanding future access to hearing health care by the millions of people with hearing loss in the United States who are currently un served.
Mission: to link hearing, speech/language, special education, balance-related programs and other professional programs of excellence throughout the Greater San Antonio and South Texas regions in discovery, learning, and engagement to achieve accessible, affordable, evidence-based hearing health care across the lifespan.
Premise: comprehensive auditory/communication assessment, and coordinated inter-professional culturally sensitive/proficient treatment of all individuals with hearing loss and other communication disorders across the lifespan, including those who are underserved and disadvantaged, will improve health outcomes and optimize quality of life and productivity for the millions of people with auditory system disorders and other communicative disorders.