Campus and Community

A Note from UHD Interim President Michael A. Olivas: A Major Announcement for Our Nursing Program

Olivas (left) and dignitaries pledge support to UHD’s nursing partnership with HCC.
Photo: Thomas B. Shea

Dear UHD Family,

As many of you are aware, this is my final week at the helm of this great University. So, there’s no better time than the present to share this exciting news with you.

UHD has just made its first hire for its upcoming Nursing Program—set to launch next year. Dr. Linda Dune is joining us as Director of Nursing and Associate Professor of Nursing. She comes to us from South University in Austin, where she served as director of the institution’s nursing program. Dr. Dune also served as an associate professor of nursing at the University of Houston-Victoria (UHV). At UHV, she spent eight years serving as the coordinator of its second degree nursing program. She earned her doctorate in nursing research and a master’s in nursing education/biology at Texas Woman’s University. And, she received a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from University of the State of New York and graduated from the Jewish Hospital School of Nursing.

Dr. Dune’s arrival at UHD is indication that our long-awaited Nursing Program will be open for business soon. Recently, we signed a letter of intent to partner with Houston Community College’s nursing program. This partnership creates a pathway for HCC nursing students to seamlessly transition into our forthcoming undergraduate nursing program. Courses will be delivered by UHD faculty at HCC’s Coleman College campus in the Texas Medical Center.

I applaud the efforts of everyone involved in bringing Dr. Dune on board, including College of Sciences and Technology Dean Akif Uzman, Interim Senior Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs and Provost Ed Hugetz, and HCC Chancellor Cesar Maldonado.

Credit also extends to the Department of Natural Sciences for leading the charge on launching the UHD Nursing Program, and the search committee chaired by Lisa Morano, professor of biology and microbiology. Search Committee members included: Ron Beebe, chair of the Department of Urban Education; Edmund Cueva, chair of the Department of Arts and Humanities; Gabriela Bowden, associate professor of biology; Ermelinda DeLaViña, professor and associate dean in the College of Sciences and Technology, and Rita Callahan, HCC associate professor of nursing.

This is yet another game changer for UHD, and I am pleased to make this announcement.

Having a nursing program located in the Texas Medical Center is a major step in our University’s growth, and it is exciting to see it begin to unfold before my departure.

Thank you all for your hard work and commitment to making UHD a stellar institution.

Michael A. Olivas

Michael A. Olivas
Interim President
University of Houston-Downtown