Victoria commissioners court backs UHV system switch
April 11, 2011 at 4:04 p.m.
Updated April 10, 2011 at 11:11 p.m.
The Victoria County Commissioners Court approved a resolution supporting the University of Houston-Victoria possibly switching to the Texas A&M System.
Postponed from last week, the vote was tensely debated at Monday's court meeting. The measure passed with a vote of 4 to 1.
Last month, state Rep. Geanie Morrison, R-Victoria, filed a bill in the House to change UHV to the A&M system.
Commissioner Clint Ives said heavy politics and the history with the University of Houston kept him from supporting the switch.
"Ambition is fantastic, but it's not great when it involves turning your back on a 30-year business partner," Ives said.
The stance is in no way a reflection of the A&M University System, he added.
All three other commissioners supported the bill.
What Victoria is looking for is a true destination campus, Commissioner Gary Burns said.
Other universities have advised Victoria County to support the switch, he added.
"My main loyalty is to Victoria County, not to any particular higher education system," he said.
The bottom line is that higher education and economic development go hand in hand, Burns continued.
Commissioner Kevin Janak had little to say, but sided with Burns.
"A&M better fits our surrounding counties," Janak said. "We need students in the seats, not online classes."
The 10 minutes it took to discuss supporting the switch came as somewhat of a shock to County Judge Don Pozzi, who anticipated unanimous support for the resolution.
"There has been an ungodly amount of information and man hours that have gone into this," Pozzi said. "I think the community has spoken and will continue to speak."