New UHV Staff Council leader eyes advocacy, volunteerism

Lawrence Nelson can’t wait to take on the challenges in his new position as Staff Council chairman at the University of Houston-Victoria.

Lawrence Nelson
Lawrence Nelson

Nelson is a multi-media specialist in the UHV School of Education & Human Development. He has served three years on the council and looks forward to advocating for staff members at the growing campus.

“It’s good to have the new president in place, and we look forward to working with him on staff initiatives,” Nelson said of Philip Castille, who began as UHV president last month. “We welcome Dr. Castille and look forward to his cooperation.”

Nelson said some staff initiatives were on hold while the search for the new president took place. Those included developing a work-at-home policy, exploring onsite day care, addressing an employee pay schedule and advocating for other employee concerns.

Volunteer efforts also drive the council agenda, and its members recently participated in a benefit for an employee whose ill spouse had racked up medical expenses.

“We’ll also continue our community service initiative and do our fundraiser that awards reserved parking lot spaces,” he said.

Nelson said he is excited about the opportunity to meet with University of Houston System Chancellor Renu Khator later this month.

Castille said he welcomes the opportunity to work with the Staff Council.

Philip Castille
Philip Castille

“Having one’s voice heard and working in cooperation with the administration improves morale and makes for happier employees,” he said. “Even during tough budget times, UHV is open to exploring ideas that produce a better workplace.”

Staff Council officers working with Nelson are Billy Lagal, vice chair; and Theresa Hawken, secretary. Lagal is the senior recruitment coordinator for the Letting Education Achieve Dreams program, and Hawken is an administrative secretary. Miles Harrison will serve as past chairman.

Other Council members are Vangie Kolesar, exempt member at-large, and Shirley Jung, non-exempt member at-large.

The Council represents the staff in all university affairs and advises the UHV president on issues that concern the staff.  

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.

Ken Cooke 361-570-4342