UHV Work Group to host UH Sugar Land Transition Team public meeting

The University of Houston-Victoria Work Group will brief the community on its proposal to make UHV a self-sustaining four-year destination university and listen to comments during an Aug. 5 meeting.

The meeting will take place from 6 to 8 p.m. in the UHV University Center Multi-Purpose Room, 3007 N. Ben Wilson St.

The work group has established subcommittees to envision and recommend realistic goals and plans to achieve the transformation of UHV to a comprehensive residential university. A national consulting firm has been contracted to assess the costs required to implement the transformation.

The UH Sugar Land Transition Team Steering Committee, led by Paula Myrick Short, UH System senior vice chancellor for academic affairs, emphasizes the importance of an open and transparent process.

“We want broad engagement and communication with all stakeholders,” she said. “UHV administration, faculty, staff and students, as well as the general public, are encouraged to attend this important meeting.”

Victoria resident Roger Welder, a member of the UH System Board of Regents, will bring greetings from the board. Dana Rooks, UH Sugar Land Transition Team executive director and UH System dean of libraries, will provide a brief overview of the three additional transition team work groups:

  • UH Work Group - This 19-member group under the leadership of Earl Smith, UH interim chief health officer, is working toward the smooth transfer of the UHV nursing program to UH. The UHV School of Nursing transition has been postponed until Sept. 1, 2015, as the UH System and system institutions continue to coordinate the transition with governing bodies. The group is identifying the tasks and changes necessary to mitigate the impact on nursing students, faculty and staff.
  • UH Sugar Land Work Group - This 21-member group is led by Robert McPherson, dean of the UH College of Education. The group is charged with planning and developing a viable UH branch campus in Sugar Land. Community leaders in Sugar Land and Fort Bend County, and UH campus stakeholders are assessing the educational program needs of the area and the current capacity of the Sugar Land campus and facilities. A plan with timelines, costs and other needs will be developed to create a robust program of UH degree offerings at the Sugar Land branch campus.

  • UH System Work Group - William Staples, president of UH-Clear Lake, heads this eight-member group charged with two distinct tasks. The first task, to identify and mitigate the impact of the transition on UHCL and UH-Downtown, is underway. The second charge is to explore the creation of a systemwide global online university to serve an extended community, nationally and globally, with speed, innovation and flexibility.

Charles Alcorn, UHV director of corporate and foundation relations and chair of the 37-member UHV Work Group, will review the group’s work to date during the meeting and outline the sources and framework for the UHV Work Group “thought paper,” which is due Oct. 15 to UH System Chancellor Renu Khator.

The thought paper will include comprehensive recommendations based on a rigorous program-by-program review of current UHV academic offerings and school-by-school revenue impact studies, community/stakeholder input, as well as extensive research and analysis of current UHS Master Plans; UHV Strategic Plans/Master Plans; UHV Downward Expansion Plans; UHV Enrollment Management and Retention Plans; UHV Student Services Plans (including recent student focus groups); and UHV Marketing Plans. Other sources of information include the 2010 Victoria Economic Development Corporation’s Crossroads Commission on Education Report, a 2014 consultant’s report on UHV Athletic Department expansion, as well as feasibility studies and strategic plans from more than a dozen national and regional universities.

The UHV Work Group members will vet working drafts of the thought paper in the coming months.

“We want our final recommendations to reflect true community consensus,” said Alcorn, who has taken the lead in aggregating and editing the final document. “The committee members have been clear about only signing off on recommendations that are realistic and actionable.”

Following Rook’s and Alcorn’s briefings, finance/funding, academic/student services, branding/vision and extension operations sub-committee coordinators will provide brief overviews of their committees’ work to date.

The floor then will open for community input and comment. Speakers are asked to limit their remarks to two minutes. A UHSL Transition Team website for public comment can be found at for those unable to attend on Aug. 5.

The meeting is being simulcast, via Interactive Television, at UH Sugar Land, George Building 309. Two ITV overflow rooms also will be available in Room 302 and 312 of the UHV University Center.

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.

Shawn Lindsey