Hudson supporters: 'He did it all'
June 25, 2011 at 1:25 a.m.
Updated June 26, 2011 at 1:26 a.m.
Serving as the Texas Tech University System vice chancellor will be a new-yet-similar challenge for Tim Hudson.
Hudson begins the new job Aug. 1. The appointment is expected to be announced Monday.
Hudson is widely credited for collaborating to advance the University of Houston-Victoria more so than at any time in its history. He served as the school's president from 2004 until August.
During his tenure, UHV expanded to include freshmen and sophomores, college athletics, a new School of Nursing and a host of nationally recognized programs in business, education and science.
While it took three decades for UHV to reach an enrollment of 2,000, that number more than doubled during Hudson's tenure.
"His move to Texas Tech shows the caliber of person we had here in Victoria," Claud Jacobs, a Victoria businessman and Hudson supporter, said. "I think it's a wonderful opportunity for him."
Beyond programs and enrollment numbers, Hudson seemed to energize the community and open eyes to the possibilities at UHV.
He and his wife, Dee Dee, who reached out to factions of the region often forgotten, helped to bring together a community, supporters say.
"A lot of people don't have that ability," Jacobs said. "He did it all."
Hudson was even the lead singer of a rock and country rock band, Coastal Bend, which entertained at public venues across the region. The band played what could be its last gig to a packed house on Thursday. Friends are throwing him a going- away party Sunday.
Because of his community engagement and other achievements, many of the city's leaders understandably offered mixed reactions.
"I'm very happy for him and his family, but I'm sad to see him go," Victoria Mayor Will Armstrong said. "Victoria is going to benefit for many years to come from his leadership as the UHV president."
Richard Bonnin, the University of Houston System spokesman, said he and others wish Hudson well.
Hudson, meanwhile, likely views the move as bittersweet. While he declined comment for this story, he has often discussed the pride he feels for fostering community connections and building a solid team at UHV.
As vice chancellor, Hudson will help to spread the Tech System's brand across the state and upgrade its use of technology in education, the Advocate learned.
He will also oversee the evolution of the three member schools' international presence and distance learning programs, two areas he improved in Victoria.
The spike in enrollment during his UHV tenure, in fact, was greatly attributable to distance learning students. Many view technology as one key to reaching students across the state, or closing the gaps, and Hudson in this respect advanced UHV to the next level.
That helps to explain one reason why he was a top candidate for several jobs around the country.
"I guess what I appreciate about him is I feel he sacrificed an awful lot to do what he thinks is right for the community, and that's a rare quality," Cheryl Johnson, a Victoria businesswoman and Hudson friend, said. "Tim and Dee Dee are going to be missed on a whole bunch of levels."