11:13 AM

Inaugural President’s Leadership Academy Is Official


By Sheryl E. Taylor

UHD President, Dr. Juan Sánchez Muñoz’s latest initiative has now come to fruition—the 2018-2019 President’s Leadership Academy (Academy)—to enhance the strength of University of Houston Downtown’s current leadership while shaping tomorrow’s leaders.

This new Academy officially kicks off on Oct. 9 through March 13.

The inaugural 26-member class is comprised of a cross-section of faculty and staff who have been identified as potential candidates to serve in roles that are “critical to the institution’s mission” in UHD’s Succession Plan.

Academy participants, by nomination, will have the opportunity to engage with administrative leaders and interactively learn skills, tools and styles for leadership success in higher education. The Academy learning schedule will consist of five modules:

  • Personal Leadership: Leading Oneself
  • Financial Leadership: The Dollars and Sense of UHD
  • Personnel Leadership: Talent Management Policies & Skills
  • Inclusive Leadership: The Strength of Diversity
  • Visionary Leadership: A Plan of Action to Build

“The Academy provides another avenue for professional development for our faculty and staff as well as an opportunity for them to connect with colleagues representing all divisions across the University,” said Ivonne Montalbano, vice president for Employment Services & Operations. “We are bringing keynote speakers who have progressed to amazing leadership roles through their personal experiences and sharing their insight on how to be successful. This program will help participants to get where they want to be in their career.”

The intent of the President’s Leadership Academy is to equip graduates with:

  • A heightened level of trust, understanding, innovative freedom and unity among the Academy participants.
  • Sources of accountability.
  • Focused efforts on peer-understanding to bridge generational gaps or management/subordinate gaps.
  • Clearly defined expectations of leadership and an understanding of the importance each member of the faculty and staff play at the University.

The Academy will be facilitated by:

David A. Miller of Cornerstone Executives will serve as lead facilitator. The Texas Tech University alumnus and former mayor of Lubbock, Texas, is the former CEO of The MED Group Inc. — a national business services organization. The national motivational speaker and leadership coach founded Spirit Ranch, a leadership and team development retreat center in Lubbock where more than 30,000 guests and clients have been served.

Dr. Creshema Murray, assistant professor of corporate communication in the Department of Arts & Communication is also the Program and Field Experience Coordinator for the Communication Studies program at UHD. She teaches courses in leadership, organizational training and development and destructive organizational communication and instructs professional trainings in diversity and inclusion. Murray will serve as co-facilitator.

“The success of our students is connected to the leadership strength of our faculty and staff,” said President Muñoz. “This Academy is dedicated to leadership excellence by empowering faculty and staff with a leadership foundation guided by the principles of engagement, innovation, inclusiveness, and impact.”


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.