UHV freshman, sophomore classes to start day after Labor Day


University of Houston-Victoria administrators announced on Thursday a new start date for freshman and sophomore classes due to unanticipated challenges in the renovation of Jaguar Hall, its residence hall for underclassmen.

Sept. 7, the day after Labor Day, will now be the first class day for these courses. Freshmen and sophomores will be able to move into Jaguar Hall starting Sept. 5.

“Our primary concern is for the safety and security of the students,” UHV President Tim Hudson said. “Our construction renovation team needs a few additional days to make Jaguar Hall a fantastic place that students can call home. They also will be removing the rubble from the adjacent annex building, which must be demolished because of mold problems. We want to avoid exposing our students to the heavy machinery required for that process.”

Each student impacted will be contacted by UHV''s Office of Student Housing.

“We do not anticipate any problems with the adjusted start date, and we will deal with students’ individual circumstances,” said Chari Norgard, associate vice president of student success and enrollment management.

Provost Suzanne LaBrecque and Jeffrey Di Leo, dean of the School of Arts & Sciences, have crafted a full academic plan based on the Sept. 7 start date for the freshmen and sophomores. Junior-, senior- and graduate-level classes will not be affected by the change. The semester will end for all students as currently scheduled, on Dec.10.

“We are treating this as we would any interruption in the normal schedule, such as those caused by hurricanes,” LaBrecque said. “Fortunately or unfortunately, those of us who live in South Texas have plenty of experience with assuring that our academic mission is not compromised by short delays.”

The option of placing students in hotels for two weeks was considered, but no single location could accommodate all potential students, Hudson said. Student safety and the problems associated with multiple moves also were issues of concern.

“We have recruited a hardy, pioneering class of incoming underclassmen, from the Coastal Bend region, San Antonio, Houston, the Rio Grande Valley and as far away as Dallas,” he said. “I have no doubt that this short hiatus will simply add to the many stories that will become the legend of the first-ever freshman class at UHV.”

For questions about Jaguar Hall construction, contact Wayne Beran, vice president for finance and administration, at Those with academic questions should contact Suzanne LaBrecque, provost and vice president for academic affairs at, while student housing questions should be directed to Zandy Baker, director of housing, at

The University of Houston-Victoria, located in the heart of the Coastal Bend region since 1973 in Victoria, Texas, offers courses leading to more than 80 academic programs in the schools of Arts & Sciences; Business Administration; and Education, Health Professions & Human Development. UHV provides face-to-face classes at its Victoria campus, as well as an instructional site in Katy, Texas, and online classes that students can take from anywhere. UHV supports the American Association of State Colleges and Universities Opportunities for All initiative to increase awareness about state colleges and universities and the important role they have in providing a high-quality and accessible education to an increasingly diverse student population, as well as contributing to regional and state economic development.

Paula Cobler