Provost emeritus appointed UHV interim provost

Don Smith, provost emeritus at the University of Houston-Victoria, has been appointed the university’s interim provost and vice president for academic affairs effective May 1.

Don Smith

“Dr. Smith has the respect of the university community, as well as the experience and talent to easily step into this role and keep the university moving forward,” UHV President Vic Morgan said. “I appreciate his willingness to take on this position for the next few months.”

Jeffrey Cass, who has been UHV provost and vice president for academic affairs since February 2012, resigned his position Thursday after requesting that he return to the faculty. On Thursday, he started work as special assistant to the president for academic program development. He will continue in that role until he returns to the classroom as an English professor in the fall.

In the special assistant role, Cass will develop new academic programs, strengthen and expand existing programs, and assist with Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges and Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board compliance.

“I appreciate Dr. Cass’ service and commitment to UHV’s growth and expansion,” Morgan said. “His leadership shepherding the university through our very successful re-accreditation process in 2014 was invaluable.”

Smith served as UHV’s chief academic officer for many years, as well as interim president multiple times, most recently for a year ending in August 2011. He joined UHV in 1987 as dean for academic affairs. He remained in that post until 1993, when he became vice president for academic affairs and dean of faculties at the State University of West Georgia. He returned to UHV in 1995, serving as provost and vice president for academic affairs until his retirement in 2006.

“It is always an honor to be asked to serve UHV,” Smith said. “I have a great love for the university; its top-notch faculty, staff and students; and the UH System.”

The provost is the president’s primary adviser for academic planning, development, oversight, program evaluation and student success. The deans of UHV’s three schools report to the provost, and he sits on the President’s Cabinet and the university’s Executive Committee. The provost also chairs the Deans’ Council and the Academic Council.

A national search for a new provost will begin in the fall.

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