Summary of Dialogue with Faculty, Staff Regarding UH Sugar Land Transition

We are in the early stages of the UH Sugar Land transition, and have begun implementing some of the strategic steps outlined on the Sugar Land transition webpage.

One of those steps – one that is of great importance to me – is my pledge to engage with faculty and staff of UH Sugar Land and UH-Victoria with transparent dialogue about the UH Sugar Land transition. To that end, I met twice this week with more than 160 faculty and staff to hear their comments, concerns and questions. Paula Myrick Short, senior vice chancellor for academic affairs for the UH System, joined me in these meetings.

Here is a summary of the key points of the discussions:

  • The UH System is committed to providing affordable and accessible education to students throughout the region and beyond.
  • We will continue to work to make the University of Houston-Victoria a premier destination university, a vision UHV has embraced.
  • The UH System Board of Regents accepted the external UH Sugar Land Task Force Report, but did not specify what should be in the UH Sugar Land transition plan.
  • The task force report established three guiding principles: No current student will be left stranded, no existing faculty contract will be violated and the University of Houston-Victoria will be furnished with adequate funds to carry out its important mission to become a destination university in the city of Victoria.
  • The Sugar Land transition involves complex issues that include programming, accreditation, spatial issues and student access. Therefore, the transition will occur over two to five years.
  • The Sugar Land transition website is a resource to submit suggestions and comments about the transition, and a way to make recommendations about who should serve on the transition team.
  • I will hire a nationally renowned consulting firm to assist in creating the UH Sugar Land transition team and support its work. I anticipate the transition team will be small, but will include numerous work groups to examine the various issues. I estimate their work could take six to eight months.
  • When the draft of the transition plan is complete, it will be shared in the public forums that will be scheduled in Sugar Land and Victoria.
  • I have asked Vice Chancellor Short to provide all the support necessary from the UH System to ensure a successful accreditation visit at UH-Victoria.
  • I have named Wayne Beran, vice president for administration at UHV, to serve as acting president for the next two to three weeks, at which point I will name an interim president and begin a search for a new president.

I am tremendously thankful and appreciative of the faculty and staff in Victoria and in Sugar Land who took the time to participate in these meetings and share their views. All who attended were extremely courteous, professional and visionary. I will give great consideration to their comments and ideas, and I look forward to receiving additional feedback as we continue to work together during this transition process.

With warm regards,
Renu Khator