As he takes the reins of the University of Houston-Victoria’s new academic college, Dmitri Sobolev plans to focus on the three Rs: recruitment, retention and research.

Sobolev, a UHV biology professor, was recently named interim dean of the new UHV College of Natural & Applied Science. In that role, he will work with the university’s administration to establish an infrastructure for the college and work to promote growth in the university’s science, technology, engineering and mathematics academic offerings and in enrollment in both Victoria and Katy.

“We are excited about the possibilities with the new College of Natural & Applied Science, and we are confident in Dr. Sobolev’s ability to lead it as the interim dean,” said Chance Glenn, UHV provost and vice president for academic affairs. “Dr. Sobolev has great dedication to the university and has served in leadership capacities on the Victoria campus. This is a critical time for the new college, and I am confident that Dr. Sobolev can work with the faculty and staff to get it off to a great start.”

Sobolev has a doctorate degree in biology from the University of Alabama. He has worked in higher education since 1996, when he was a teaching assistant while working toward his doctorate in Alabama. He joined the faculty at UHV in 2009 as an assistant professor.

During his time at UHV, Sobolev has been involved on campus and in the community. He led aquatic science summer camps for area middle and high school students to learn about water quality in the region. He also has published research on many different aspects of water quality including nutrient content, flow management and bacteria identification. He teaches undergraduate and graduate biology courses at UHV.

“The creation of a new college specifically focused on STEM studies is an exciting moment for UHV,” Sobolev said. “The university is doing exciting research and work in many areas of the sciences, and this will give STEM programs the support they need to grow in new and exciting ways.”

Sobolev’s plan for the future focuses on how the college can grow recruitment, retention and research. The three areas are interconnected, he said, and it is important to grow in all three in order to achieve growth and success in the university. The college plans to recruit a growing number of new students through partnerships with area high schools and other community partnerships. It also should focus on offering students the opportunity to work on new and exciting research, which means applying for research grants and finding ways to partner with area industry leaders to create research projects. If students have access to quality research opportunities, that will encourage them to remain at UHV until they complete their degrees.

“I have every confidence in Dr. Sobolev’s leadership and his commitment to the success of UHV,” UHV President Bob Glenn said. “He is a longstanding, valuable member of our faculty, and I have no doubt he will be exactly what the College of Natural & Applied Science needs to move forward and succeed.”

Sobolev said his ultimate goal is to do whatever needs to be done to get the new college into a strong structure that is poised for growth before the university hires a permanent dean in the future. His first step is listening to the college’s faculty members and learning as much as he can about how to successfully lead the college and plan for the future.

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