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UHV committee begins work to separate university from Fort Bend County

By Carolina Astrain
May 31, 2014 at 12:31 a.m.
Updated June 1, 2014 at 1:01 a.m.


MEET THE TEAM

These are the confirmed appointments of community leaders who are part of the University of Houston-Victoria Work Group. Subcommittees have yet to be finalized.

• Charles Alcorn: Director of corporate and foundation relations, Office of University Advancement, UHV

• Keith Akins: Professor of criminal justice and director of UHV First Year Academic Experience, UHV

• Emett Alvarez: Victoria city councilman; managing editor, Revista de Victoria

Harry Bashaw: Staff council chair; School of Education and Human Development, UHV

• Wayne Beran: Chief financial officer, UHV

• Bill Blanchard: Victoria Economic Development Corp.; CEO DeTar Healthcare System

• Robby Burdge: Victoria College board; Port of Victoria board; President, Klean Corp Inc.

• Laurel Cahill: Director of community relations, Alcoa Point Comfort Operations

• Jeffrey Cass: Provost, UHV

• Parikh Dakshesh-Kumar: Internist/cardiologist

• Nina Di Leo: Executive director, Victoria Bach Society

• Dan Easton: Publisher, Victoria Advocate

• Robert Halepeska: Executive vice president of the M.G. & Lillie Johnson Foundation

• Claud Jacobs: President, Lodestone Financial Group

• Robert Jaklich: Superintendent, Victoria Independent School District

• Crystal King: Site director; Dow-Union Carbide Seadrift

• Jay Lambert: Director of student services

• Fred Litton: Dean of education and human development, UHV

• Robert Loeb: President, Robert Loeb and Company

• Geanie Morrison: State representative

• Farhang Niroomand: Dean, School of Business, UHV

• Moses Olukoya: UHV student, UHV Student Government Association president

• Dennis Patillo: President, Stewart Title; Owner, PumpHouse Riverside Restaurant and Bar and The Sendera

• Catherine Perz: Associate professor of psychology

• Paul Polasek: Mayor of Victoria

• Don Pozzi: Victoria County Judge

• V. Bland Proctor: Victoria College Board trustee and attorney at the Offices of O'Connor-Braman

• Josie Rivera: Victoria College Board trustee

• Steve Roth: President, Roth Construction

Source: UHV

A group formed to help turn the University of Houston-Victoria into a destination university is trying to work out how to get there.

To begin the process, the UHV Work Group committee, made up of university officials, professors and Victoria leaders, conducted two orientation meetings last week.

"It was very preliminary," state Rep. Geanie Morrison, R-Victoria, said of the first meeting. "They discussed the charter of the group and goals."

The work group was assembled by Charles Alcorn, who was appointed chairman by the University of Houston System.

Alcorn said the group discussed reviewing strategic plans formed by other universities, including Texas A&M International University and Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, to come up with an updated plan for UHV.

The need for an updated strategic plan arose after UH System Board of Regents approved the removal of UHV programs in Fort Bend County and absorption of the UHV School of Nursing at the University of Houston Sugar Land campus earlier this year.

Bill Blanchard, CEO of DeTar Healthcare System in Victoria and member of the UHV Work Group, showed concern about the downsizing of UHV's School of Nursing program and spoke against the system's actions.

Blanchard said he hopes the committee will be able to come up with solutions.

Blanchard spoke to the Advocate as an individual, not as a representative of the work group.

"The agenda still needs to be expanded in scope," Blanchard said. "We're in the process of setting everything up. There's a lot of work to be done."

Victoria County Judge Don Pozzi, who also criticized the UH System for not informing any elected officials from Victoria County about the changes before approval, said he was optimistic about the work group but remained somewhat skeptical.

"I'm trying to keep an open mind," Pozzi said. "I'm always mindful of the past, but I would hope we are ready to move forward regardless."

Additional meetings have not been scheduled, Alcorn said.

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