UH moves to take over leadership of Sugar Land campus

Nov. 16, 2011 at 5:16 a.m.

The University of Houston is moving to put the Sugar Land campus under the umbrella of the main campus.

The Board of Regents voted unanimously at its Wednesday meeting to change the Sugar Land location from a teaching center to a UH System's center. Its new name would be the University of Houston Sugar Land Campus.

Currently, the Sugar Land campus houses courses from UH, University of Houston-Clear Lake and University of Houston-Victoria. The administrative ownership change would put UH primarily in charge of academic programs and operations at the campus, while keeping its current programs.

The plan calls for UH to expand its degree offerings, adding at least nine programs during the next three years.

"This represents more UH - not less UHV," Regent Roger Welder, of Victoria, said in a news release from UH. "It allows us to offer more services at UH Sugar Land, which is hungry for more of what we provide at UH. We're thrilled to be able to meet that demand."

UHV provides about 60 percent of the 40 degrees offered at Sugar Land, Marshall Schott, UH associate vice president for university outreach, said in an email.

"This is a win-win," UHV President Philip Castille said in the news release. "There will be no diminishment of our program offerings, and our programs will continue to meet the needs of Fort Bend County."

The nine new degree programs would double the number of degrees UH offers at the campus.

"It is expected that UHV will benefit from additional visibility and student traffic at the campus," Schott said in the email.

He added the university and community leaders have contemplated for several years the switch to clearer ownership of the Sugar Land site.

The proposal mentions UH will assume greater responsibility at the Sugar Land campus while UHV focuses on growing as a four-year university.

UHV, supported by the UH System and in collaboration with community leaders in Victoria, is developing a master plan for the campus based on enrollment projections, Schott said.

About one-third of UHV's 4,330 students come from the Sugar Land campus. The conversion in ownership will not change how UHV reports enrollment or UHV's staffing needs, Schott said.

The conversion is expected to have no fiscal impact.

If approved by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, the change would take place in spring 2012.



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