New Faculty Senate president ready to lead

When Jeffrey Cass steps into his role as the next University of Houston-Victoria Faculty Senate president, he plans to focus on helping the university and its new president pave a pathway for success for UHV and the community.

Jeffrey Cass

“It is essential to build a strong foundation that will continue driving the university forward in its next phase,” said Cass, a UHV English professor. “As the senate’s president, I will be committed to serving our faculty, the university and its new president, Robert Glenn, as this will be an important year for us.”

The Faculty Senate advocates for the UHV faculty in the university’s decision-making process. It also serves as a sounding board for faculty members to share their ideas for consideration by the administration. As part of this goal, the Faculty Senate president sits on UHV boards and committees such as the President’s Cabinet and the Academic Council.

Cass officially will transition Monday from his current position as vice president to the president’s post. He is taking the reins from marketing professor Joseph Ben-Ur. Ben-Ur will move into the role of past president.

Cass started at UHV in 2012 and has served as provost and vice president for academic affairs, special assistant to the president for academic program development, and English professor.

One of the first topics the Faculty Senate will need to address is student enrollment, Cass said.

“We want to recruit more students and the best possible students to the university,” Cass said. “We’ll need to enhance our programs as well, so that will require a broad-based discussion about what we have and what we’ll need in order to get there.”

Cass also wants to help faculty members have their voices heard. At a growing university with new programs, buildings, and the UHV Katy teaching center, it’s important that faculty members work with administration to achieve goals, Cass said.

“As a university, we represent one voice, but there are many different point of views,” Cass said. “The faculty works directly with the students, and it’s important that we share that view. It will be key for faculty and administration to come together and overcome any issues we may experience.”

Joining Cass and Ben-Ur are:

Executive Committee

  • Vice President – Keith Akins, associate professor and director of criminal justice graduate studies, School of Arts & Sciences
  • Secretary – Barba Patton, professor, School of Education, Health Professions & Human Development


  • Justin Bell – director of honors program, School of Arts & Sciences
  • Amjad Nusayr – assistant professor, School of Arts & Sciences
  • Mark Ward – associate professor, School of Arts & Sciences
  • Michelle Ruiz – assistant professor, School of Business Administration
  • Danny Chiang – associate professor, School of Business Administration
  • Jeff Blodgett – professor, School of Business Administration
  • Amy Barnhill – associate professor, School of Education, Health Professions & Human Development
  • Paul Carlson – professor, School of Education, Health Professions & Human Development
  • Mary Lasater – assistant professor, School of Education, Health Professions & Human Development

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.

Ashley Strevel 361-570-4342