Faculty Senate president knows power of perspective

As the incoming University of Houston-Victoria Faculty Senate president, Sandy Venneman plans to stay focused on representing the faculty and making sure the faculty stay informed about the university leadership’s decisions.

Sandy Venneman

Venneman, a professor of psychology and biology, will serve as the Faculty Senate president during the 2022-2023 academic year.

“The faculty is the heart of the university and, therefore, supporting an environment in which faculty thrive is imperative to the university’s health,” Venneman said. “Representing the voice of the faculty to promote a productive environment is the most important aspect of the job of Faculty Senate president.” 

Jeff Blodgett, a UHV marketing professor, served as the previous president and will now move into the role of past president.

Jeff Blodgett

“Dr. Venneman will work vigorously on behalf of faculty to further strengthen shared governance, to ensure that we have greater input into budgeting, and to get faculty and staff equity plans back on track,” Blodgett said.

Venneman has been part of the UHV faculty since 1999, and has previously served on the Faculty Senate, including as president. Earlier this year, she received the Distinguished Faculty Service Award for her service to the university community through the Faculty Senate as well as on the Faculty Grievance Committee and chair of the Policy Review Committee. In addition, she is part of the leadership for the UHV chapters of both the Phi Kappa Phi and Nu Gamma Nu honor societies.

In addition to working to continue positive steps that have been taken in the areas of faculty compensation and budget decisions, Venneman plans to put extra effort into making sure the faculty are aware of important conversations and decisions that are happening at the upper levels of the university. This will allow faculty to have a clear idea of what the university’s leadership and stakeholders are wanting to accomplish in the future.

“One of the ongoing efforts of the Faculty Senate is to assist in the goal of making the best university possible and to offer students an excellent education,” she said. “A large part of that effort involves keeping the faculty actively involved in the decisions being made toward that end. Communication is key to cooperation.”

Joining Venneman and Blodgett are:

Executive Committee:

  • Vice President – Daniel White, assistant professor of biology, College of Natural & Applied Science
  • Secretary – Willie Black Jr., assistant professor of kinesiology, College of Education & Health Professions


  • Nazif Durmaz, associate professor of economics, College of Business
  • Kwan Lee, assistant professor of management, College of Business
  • Qiao Xu, assistant professor of accounting, College of Business
  • Feirong Yuan, assistant professor of human resources management, College of Business
  • Sharon de Marin, associate professor, College of Education & Health Professions
  • Abrán Rodriguez, assistant professor of professional counseling, College of Education & Health Professions
  • Michael Wiblishauser, assistant professor of health studies, College of Education & Health Professions
  • Andria Young, professor of education, College of Education & Health Professions
  • Casey Akins, senior lecturer of criminal justice, College of Liberal Arts & Social Sciences
  • Rebecca Heron, assistant professor of psychology, College of Liberal Arts & Social Sciences
  • Mark Ward, associate professor of communication, College of Liberal Arts & Social Sciences
  • Hardik Gohel, assistant professor of computer science, College of Natural & Applied Science
  • Humberto Hernandez, assistant professor of biology, College of Natural & Applied Science
  • Jang-Woo Park, associate professor of mathematics, College of Natural & Applied Science
  • Aleksandr Pikalov, assistant professor of chemistry, College of Natural & Applied Science

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.