We will remain firm in our position
April 29, 2011 at 3:01 p.m.
Updated April 28, 2011 at 11:29 p.m.
Editor, the Advocate:
Sometimes, change is both slow in coming, yet inevitable. For years, the people of Victoria have clamored for a four-year destination university. When a larger than life president sought to harness public support, there was some early dissension, but that was crushed under the weight of near unanimous public support. The Texas Legislature approved the expansion of the University of Houston-Victoria into a four year university, and a new dawn appeared on the horizon - dormitories, more programs, sports - a totally new vibe in the air.
But when it came to finding a physical home for a new campus, the wheels fell off. To this day, there is no plan for a campus to house a four-year university. The architect of the university's growth was moved out as president. The University of Houston chafed at the audacity and energy of the Victoria community's vision of the university's future. The University of Houston System's head slap of its once loved institution immediately galvanized public opinion.
Few issues have sparked such strong feelings, and the Victoria public went to work to find a Texas university system who would see eye to eye with us. A bill was filed in the Legislature to bring the university into the Texas A&M System; and the lifeblood of this movement is a group of women and men who are on a mission to get this done.
The university will likely not be realigned this year - after all, the Legislature has plenty of budget problems to address. Yet, just as we can't force incompatible husbands and wives to stay together - nor can a community and its university be held hostage to a system that sees the future so dimly (or differently).
While burned bridges can be rebuilt, when they were burned in the manner this bridge was torched, there must be a new path to the other side. As Dag Hammarskjöld so remarkably put it: For what has been, thanks. For what will be, yes!
John Griffin, Victoria