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March 19, 2013
Dear Faculty and Staff:
For those of you who took some time off for Spring Break, I hope it was a relaxing one. And for the rest of you, thanks for your dedication last week!
As we regroup following the break, let me update you on a few key initiatives and priorities at the University. First, I'd like to extend a warm welcome to our new dean of the College of Business, Dr. Michael Fields. I am confident that his proven academic leadership and business acumen will benefit both our faculty and students. With Dr. Fields at the helm of our undergraduate business programs and growing MBA program, our College of Business is well positioned to offer students the 21st century skills they need to excel in their chosen careers.
I'm pleased to report on the progress of our search for a permanent Provost and Senior Vice President. Our internal search committee continues to meet regularly. Working with the executive search firm, Witt/Kieffer, a detailed leadership profile has been developed. Consultants from the firm have met with faculty senate and with staff from Academic Affairs and Student Success and Enrollment Management to discuss key qualifications for the successful candidate. Due to changes in the job description to include responsibilities for Student Affairs in addition to Academic Affairs, our timeline has been pushed back slightly. The position is now advertised in multiple venues and our consultants are actively seeking qualified candidates. The committee expects to review candidate applications in late April and will conduct offsite interviews in May. Campus visits will be held in late May or early June. We will provide ample time for you to know the dates of campus visits, and for those unable to participate in person, we will offer accommodations via Blackboard. The committee has set up a provost landing page at http://www.uhd.edu/provostsearch/, which will provide you with key qualifications for the role, names of committee members and a link to nominate potential candidates.
This legislative session is a critical one for higher education. I am working with other University administrators to keep our primary requests top of mind for Houston-area legislators. Dr. Adolfo Santos accompanied me to Austin again last week to meet with UHD supporters, including Sen. Rodney Ellis, Rep. Sylvester Turner, Rep. Garnet Coleman and Rep. Jessica Farrar to express our thanks and encourage their continued support. We also met with staff members from the offices of Sen. Sylvia Garcia and Rep. Carol Alvarado as we discussed the importance of tuition revenue bonds for a new science and technology building and increased funding for advising and support initiatives for first-generation students. Based on the positive feedback we received, I feel encouraged about our requests at this stage of the legislative session.
Finally, I'm delighted about the excellent support you've already shown for our 2013 Faculty/Staff Giving Campaign! Currently at 33 percent participation, we are well on our way toward meeting our goal of 60 percent faculty and staff participation. Our students and alumni are honored to know that UHD faculty and staff are invested in student success and your contributions are another indicator of that investment. Please consider making a donation of any amount - none is too small - so we can help even more students achieve their dream of a college degree.
Needless to say, this is an exciting time at UHD! Thank you for the invaluable role you play in supporting our students. I challenge each of you to look for new ways to encourage their growth and success as we approach our May 2013 commencement.
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Last updated or reviewed on 4/3/13