What do Victoria, UHV students need for the university to survive?

Aug. 4, 2014 at 6:06 p.m.
Updated Aug. 5, 2014 at 11 a.m.

The makings of a new, self-sustaining identity will be discussed at the University of Houston-Victoria Work Group's first public meeting Tuesday.

Last spring, the University of Houston System Board of Regents approved the transfer of the UHV School of Nursing to the UH main campus and the booting of Victoria programs out of its Sugar Land campus.

Last year, 53 percent of UHV's operating budget allocated for academic programs came from its Sugar Land operations.

At Tuesday's meeting, Charles Alcorn, UHV Work Group chairman, will share the group's findings. Dana Rooks, UH Sugar Land Transition Team executive director, is expected to provide updates from the team's work groups representing the UH System, UH main campus and UH-Clear Lake.

During the summer, the UHV Work Group subcommittees met to discuss essential parts of the university, including finance and funding, academic and student services, branding and vision and extension operations.

The public will be able to comment. Speakers will be asked to limit their comments to two minutes after the presentation.

The Advocate asked community leaders and students what steps they believe UHV needs to take to become a prosperous four-year institution of higher learning.

Name: Benny Martinez

Title: League of United Latin American Citizens member, award recipient

Education: Alumnus of the University of Houston-Downtown campus

Residence: Goliad

"We need to make sure we're making more room for incoming students. It's also absolutely crucial that we have a good nursing school here; I think it's a good idea to have one at both campuses."

Name: Eli Olvera

Title: University of Houston-Victoria senior

Residence: Houston

"They need to start thinking outside the box. We can't compete with Texas A&M or UT, so we need to think of ways we can attract students in a different manner. The main thing should be about retaining students. If we're losing the nursing program, then we should be focusing our strengths in other areas, like our video game design program. That's a selling point."

Name: Tami Keeling

Title: Victoria ISD board of trustees president, speaking on her own behalf

Residence: Victoria

"I'd like to see the nursing school preserved because it serves so many people in this region. If there is a need for a nursing program here, then that seems like an opportunity for them to make programmatic expansions, not retractions."

Name: Chris Rivera

Title: La Camara de Comercio chairman

Residence: Victoria

"We need a nursing program, but it would also be nice if they offered an engineering program. A full, four-year program for engineering would be fantastic."

Name: Karen Borrego

Title: University of Houston-Victoria sophomore

Residence: San Antonio

"UHV needs to get more housing. They have to get top-of-the-line professors from everywhere and start advocating that they're the best out there for its students. I know it's not hard to get into UHV right now, but they should be raising the standards each year. I've only been here for a year, and I've already seen so much growth; it's remarkable."

Name: Marc Hinojosa

Title: Boys and Girls Club of Victoria executive director

Residence: Victoria

"I hate to see the nursing school go away because there's such a strong need for it here. I would like to see them develop a school of engineering. Another area I would like to see UHV expand is in the arts. I know there are some things that have been happening in the arts world in Victoria with Anthony Pedone's film festival - maybe all of that could all fall in line together somehow."

Name: Vanessa Plasencia

Title: University of Houston-Victoria alumna, class of 2014

Residence: Rosenberg

"The university should work with the city in developing more entertainment centers and places for young people to hang out. That would help make the university be more successful and retain more students."

Name: Michael Hummel

Title: Victoria College professor emeritus, retired

Residence: Victoria

"They need to offer programs that are supportive of educational demands of the community. ... I know nursing has been a hot issue. They should continue to offer good, solid academic courses, and if they want to be a destination university, they need to have more face-to-face courses."

Name: Janey Lack

Title: Victoria businesswoman

Residence: Victoria

"We need strong leadership here in Victoria and support from the UH System. That all happens with good communication. We need recognition for what we've achieved. What we don't need is programs like nursing being taken away with no notice. It needs to be understood that we are important to the University of Houston. We provide a unique opportunity to reach out to students who otherwise may not have been able to attend a four-year university."

Name: Isaac Babalola

Title: University of Houston-Victoria alumnus, class of 2010

Residence: Sugar Land

"The changes coming to UHV will disrupt the convenience of current students from the Houston area who take face-to-face courses through Sugar Land. Cinco Ranch isn't too far, but the amount of gas it takes to get there speaks for itself. We have to stand up and fight to make sure UHV can survive on its own and co-exist with UH's main campus. UHV has been good to me, and I want to see it become bigger and better."



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