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HISD Superintendent & Leadership Team Visit UHD Campus


By Sheryl E. Taylor

Recently, UHD’s College of Public Service (CPS) hosted the Houston Independent School District (HISD) Superintendent and his leadership team for a special meeting.

The goal of this meeting was to connect UHD President Loren J. Blanchard and HISD Superintendent Millard House II around each entity’s shared missions related to educational justice and equity.

“We believe our success around the ability to serve the students in Houston is intertwined,” said Dr. Jonathan Schwartz, Dean of CPS. “We hope to partner further and collaborate to better serve the families and students in Houston.”

Representing HISD at the meeting were Jeremy Grant-Skinner, Chief Talent Officer, and Dr. Shawn Bird, Chief Academic Officer. UHD attendees included Blanchard, Schwartz, Dr. Scott Marzilli, Special Assistant to the President, and Dr. Lizette Burks, Assistant Professor of Educational Leadership in the Department of Urban Education.HISD Visit2

Discussion topics included teacher shortage and opportunities for expanding and developing CPS’ Grow Your Own Program; ways UHD can support some of the feeder patterns in the area while collaborating with HISD; and ways to support CPS culture at HISD. Ultimately, the next step for HISD and CPS is to create a concrete plan for collaboration.

“Our Department of Urban Education in the College of Public Service is already deeply connected to the Houston Independent School District,” said Schwartz. “We are excited to continue to deepen this partnership to train effective teachers, serve the students and families of Houston, and impact educational outcomes of Houston students.”

About the University of Houston-Downtown

The University of Houston-Downtown (UHD) is the second-largest university in Houston and has served the educational needs of the nation’s fourth-largest city since 1974. As one of four distinct public universities in the University of Houston System, UHD is a comprehensive, four-year university led by President Loren J. Blanchard. Annually, UHD educates approximately 14,000 students, boasts more than 66,000 alumni, and offers 45 bachelor’s degrees, 12 master’s degrees, and 19 online programs within four colleges: Marilyn Davies College of Business, College of Humanities and Social Sciences, College of Public Service, and College of Sciences and Technology. UHD has one of the lowest tuition rates in Texas.

U.S. News and World Report ranked UHD among the nation’s Best Online Bachelor’s Programs for Applied Administration and Best Online Master’s Programs in Criminal Justice, as well as a Top Performer in Social Mobility. The Wall Street Journal/College Pulse ranked UHD one of the best colleges in the U.S. for its 2024 rankings, with notable distinctions: No. 1 for diversity (tied) and No. 3 for student experience. The University is designated as a Hispanic-Serving Institution, a Minority-Serving Institution, and a Military Friendly School. For more information on the University of Houston-Downtown, visit uhd.edu.