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Jan. 14, 2013
Dear Faculty and Staff:
I'd like to welcome you back to the start of a new semester at UHD. I trust this semester will be a successful one, as we all fully commit to student success and access for our diverse student body. Let me take this opportunity to bring you up to date on a few items as we begin this new semester.
First, please join me in welcoming Ed Hugetz to his new role as interim senior vice president for Academic Affairs and provost. Ed has served the University of Houston System for 34 years, most recently as associate vice chancellor of Planning and University Outreach. You can learn more about Ed here. However, I encourage you to attend the faculty senate meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 15, at which I will introduce Ed and he will address our faculty. Very shortly, I will announce the co-chairs and members of the senior vice president and provost search committee. It is my intention that the committee move forward quickly to begin the search for a permanent provost and senior VP.
At the top of our priority list for 2013 is improving UHD's retention and graduation rates. Retaining students and supporting their timely graduation is our highest goal and, to that end, a task force has been created consisting of faculty and staff members from across campus working collectively to ensure that FTIC students graduate on time. Our goal is to boost the graduation rate of the fall 2007 cohort - and each succeeding cohort - by 3 to 4 percent each year. Your role in this mission is critical as you take an individual interest in our students and their performance, whether in the classroom, advising, mentoring or student services. We all play a role in improving this graduation rate, and I know you take this priority very seriously, as do I.
Our spring enrollment numbers look positive. We'll continue to build on our record-breaking fall enrollment of nearly 14,000 students as we finalize our spring enrollment. The first week of classes is always a critical period and UHD traditionally experiences a surge of late registrants during this time. Please encourage admitted and eligible students to enroll throughout this first week to ensure that our spring enrollment is as strong as possible.
We begin a new legislative session this spring, and it is a critical session for higher education in our Texas Legislature. Several education bills are on the table for discussion and with state finances and revenues improving over the past biennium, we're cautiously optimistic. UHD presented two legislative appropriation requests: tuition revenue bonds to fund debt service on a new, much-needed building for the College of Sciences and Technology, and a one-time request to support student success initiatives aimed at improving our FTIC retention and graduation rates. I will keep you updated as the legislative session progresses.
Again, welcome to the 2013 spring semester. It is an exciting time to be at UHD and I look forward to what we can accomplish together on behalf of our students during the upcoming semester.
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Last updated or reviewed on 4/3/13