UHV president gives annual report on Jaguar Journey

Nov. 10, 2011 at 5:10 a.m.

A red airplane traveled across screens at the University of Houston-Victoria's multi-purpose room Thursday night, while a countdown clock ticked away the minutes against a background of a world map.

At zero, reflection on last year's Jaguar Journey began.

"You might sense a theme starting here," UHV President Philip Castille said. "It truly was a transformational year at UHV because for the first time, we had freshman and sophomores who journeyed to Victoria to take college classes with us."

Castille provided the annual President's Report to a room filled with students, faculty, staff and community leaders, gathered for dinner and an update on the expanding university.

After giving credit to Interim President Don Smith's leadership this past year, Castille ran off some quick numbers: More than 300 freshmen came to campus this year; total enrollment reached 4,330; and the new four-year university welcomed 900 students to campus for the first time.

Chari Norgard, associate vice president of student affairs, spoke about the strides made to accommodate those numbers this year, including opening UHV's first residence hall, implementing its freshman seminar class and creating an academic success program that intervened with low-performing students.

"Student life developed, and that was probably one of the neatest things for me to see - they come on campus and get engaged in student life."

Videos of students and teachers told their personal stories of achievement at each of UHV's schools before deans ran through each schools' achievements.

The School of Arts and Sciences, for example, hired 10 new faculty members and implemented a communication design bachelor's program.

The School of Business Administration grew 14 percent and was ranked twice in Princeton Review's list of top business schools.

The School of Education and Human Development also grew and added a new degree, a master of education in adult and higher education.

And, finally, the University of Houston's only nursing program, UHV's, created articulation agreements with community colleges to allow students to jump into their nursing degree programs.

Much of UHV's growth was also attributed to its athletic programs, which this year put more than 130 students in Jaguar jerseys.

While celebrating the university's past success, Castille looked to the future. By 2015, he said he hopes to be giving the president's annual report in a new academic building adjacent to the University Center's parking lot.

"At UHV we're fortunate to be in good company with a talented faculty and staff ... who work each day to make the Jaguar Journey a successful one," Castille said.



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