Work Group Members Named For UH Sugar Land Transition Team

June 4, 2014 — The UH Sugar Land Transition Team has begun its work in earnest with the appointment of Work Group members. UH System Chancellor Renu Khator has reviewed and invited a diverse group of University and community stakeholders to participate in this important effort. A complete list of the members engaged with each of the Work Groups is included on the website: www.uhsa.uh.edu/sugarlandtransition/

The Steering Committee, led by Paula Myrick Short, senior vice chancellor for academic affairs for the UH System, reviewed the charge of each of the four Working Groups in an initial meeting with the members. Short emphasized the importance of an open and transparent process, with broad engagement and communication with all stakeholders. 

The 19-member UH Work Group, under the leadership of Earl Smith, interim chief health officer at UH, is working toward the smooth transfer of the UH-Victoria nursing program to the University of Houston. Current plans are to make the transfer effective Sept. 1, 2014.  The Work Group is identifying the tasks and changes necessary to mitigate the impact on nursing students, faculty and staff.

The 30-member UH Victoria Work Group, led by Charles Alcorn, director of corporate and foundation relations at UHV, has begun its work to develop a proposal to make UHV a self-sustaining destination university. The Work Group has established subcommittees to envision and recommend realistic goals and plans to achieve the transformation of UHV from a two-year senior university and extension operation to a four-year destination university. A national consulting firm is being contracted to assess the costs required to implement the transformation. 

Robert McPherson, dean of the College of Education at UH, has been named to lead the UH Sugar Land Work Group.  The 21 members of this group are 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.

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


The University of Houston System is a comprehensive system of higher education institutions serving to further the intellectual capital and economic strength of the Gulf Coast region. The UH System includes the University of Houston, a nationally recognized Tier One public research university; the University of Houston-Downtown, a four-year undergraduate university expanding into graduate programs; the University of Houston-Victoria, a four-year university with undergraduate and master’s level degree programs; and the University of Houston- Clear Lake, an upper-division and master’s level institution. The system also includes three branch campuses, UH-Clear Lake Pearland, UH System - Northwest and UH Sugar Land, as well as a multi-institution teaching center, UH System Cinco Ranch. In addition, the System owns and operates Houston Public Media (HPM). HPM comprises KUHF-FM, Houston’s National Public Radio station; KUHA-FM, Houston’s 24-hour classical music station; and KUHT-TV, the nation’s first educational television station. To learn more about the UH System, visit http://www.uhsa.uh.edu/.