UHV chief of staff named to new community relations position

Margaret Rice, University of Houston-Victoria’s chief of staff since 2006, recently was named the interim associate vice president for community relations by UHV President Phil Castille.

“Dr. Rice has been an exemplary representative of UHV in the community,” Castille said. “Her expanded role will see that she continues to be a public face for the university and an advocate for access to higher education throughout the region.”

Margaret Rice
Margaret Rice

Rice, who will continue her role as chief of staff, said she looks forward to serving UHV as it continues a rapid growth phase.

“I believe wholeheartedly in the mission of UHV and am pleased to be called upon to serve in this additional capacity,” she said. “It is a pleasure to work with a community that supports the university and understands the important role that higher education plays in the future of our region.”

Rice has a Doctorate of Philosophy in educational human resource development from Texas A&M University and a master’s degree in religious education from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.

As part of her new role, Rice will oversee the University Advancement and Marketing departments.

Long a part of strategic-planning efforts, Rice was instrumental in developing the plan for UHV’s downward expansion. She chaired a UHV committee to begin the addition of freshman and sophomore students.

“Being a part of the transition of UHV from an upper-level, commuter institution to a four-year, residential university has been one of the highlights of my career, and we couldn’t have accomplished this change without community support,” she said. “Although representing UHV in the community has been part of my role as chief of staff, having an even broader charge in community relations is really gratifying.”

At UHV, Rice also has been a key partner in the development of an online master’s degree in adult and higher education, author of a UHV Recruitment and Retention Plan, and consultant with community organizations to facilitate strategic planning sessions. She also developed and implemented UHV’s Letting Education Achieve Dreams program with the goal of increasing college admission from historically underrepresented groups throughout the region. That program won the 2001 Excellence in Higher Education Award, presented by the Association of Texas Colleges and Universities.

In addition, she and her husband, Gene Rice, a local minister, have developed and led programs and workshops for marriage enrichment, church staff, small businesses and corporations.

Rice began her career with UHV in October 1999, working with the LEAD program. She served as director of student development, and the executive director of student services and regional outreach.

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