Community leaders praise UHV president

Gabriella Canales By Gabriella Canales

May 3, 2017 at 10:27 p.m.
Updated May 3, 2017 at 10:34 p.m.

Dr. Vic Morgan

Dr. Vic Morgan   CONTRIBUTED PHOTO for The Victoria Advocate

A day after University of Houston-Victoria President Vic Morgan announced his departure, community members praised his student-focused and community-oriented leadership.

"Morgan was respected all over the community and took charge, developed and put the university on track," Claud Jacobs said Wednesday. "He was certainly open and honest with the community and pulled people together."

Since the Victoria businessman began supporting the university's athletics, he has seen Morgan's enthusiasm for students.

"He understood the purpose of being a president was to help kids get an education," Jacobs said, and Morgan has done a remarkable job fulfilling that purpose.

"He pulled it together when they had real issues in the short time he was here," Jacobs said.

When Jacobs learned that a survey was the reason Morgan is retiring, he was bewildered.

"I am certainly disappointed at the (UH) System for letting him go this way and this quick," he said. "I wonder who are really the ones running the university."

Morgan plans to step down from his position by fall 2018.

The decision follows a faculty and staff survey conducted by the University of Houston System about his leadership. The Victoria Advocate has filed an open-records request for the results of the survey and for Morgan's performance evaluation. Chancellor Renu Khator was traveling Wednesday and couldn't be reached for comment, said Mike Rosen, executive director of media relations.

Morgan's departure is a great loss for Victoria, Jacobs said.

Other community leaders said they also were shaken by the decision about the leader who brought together a community after several years of turmoil created by the dismissal of two previous presidents.

Morgan is one of the best UHV presidents that Omar Rachid said he has worked with during his 12 years on the President's Regional Advisory Board.

"Having Morgan for another year is an indication of strong leadership," Rachid said. "The System wanted to make sure they keep UHV in good hands until another president is found."

Morgan has been transparent and has provided outreach to the community through the Crossroads, he said.

Since the day he meet Morgan a year and a half ago, Victoria College President David Hinds has come to know the university president well.

"Personally, we are friends," Hinds said.

The college and university's relationship has improved since Morgan has been in the position, he said.

"I hope the new president will be as collaborative-minded as Dr. Morgan is," said Amy Mundy, a VC employee and former UHV staff member.

Mundy recognized the benefits of Morgan bringing together the college and community.

"He is very, very involved in the community," she said. "From what I've seen, he's done a great job."

John J. Shutt first became the President's Regional Advisory Board chairman in the 2015-2016 school year.

"I'm sorry to see him go, but I understand his desire to retire," Shutt said.

Morgan's leadership has brought about expansion of the university into what is described as a destination university.

"We will be very fortunate to find someone of his experience and caliber," he said. "He will be missed."


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