Message From The President: Special Thanks To Dr. Akif Uzman
Greetings, UHD Community,
I recently announced Dr. Deborah E. Bordelon will join the University of Houston-Downtown June 1 as our new Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost. As we anticipate her upcoming contributions to our campus, I want to take a moment to extend my deepest gratitude to Dr. Akif Uzman, who has so graciously and capably acted in the role of Interim Provost for the past year.
As you know, Dr. Uzman previously served as Dean of the College of Sciences & Technology. When UHD began a national search for Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost, I felt it was critical to have the right leader in place throughout the search who would not just maintain the status quo but who would move the University’s priorities forward. Dr. Uzman was the individual who emerged as the frontrunner for this interim role.
During his year as Interim Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost, you have all witnessed his notable performance. He played an integral role in launching the inaugural Faculty Retreat in August 2021, aided significantly in the University’s successful navigation of COVID-19 and the transition from virtual to on-campus activity, co-led the Student Success Transition Team, and served as a consummate professional leader to more than 750 faculty members in adhering to standards of excellence in teaching, scholarship, and service.
Beyond that, he remained a thoughtful colleague who worked tirelessly to meet every expectation. I thank Dr. Uzman for his steadfast service and dedication to the University of Houston-Downtown during this interim period.
As noted, Dr. Bordelon arrives June 1. At that time, Dr. Uzman will return to the position where he has provided years of dedicated service as the Dean of the College of Sciences & Technology at the University of Houston-Downtown.
I also thank Dr. Ermelinda DeLaViña for her efforts during the interim period. When Dr. Uzman accepted my invitation to serve as the Interim Provost, Dr. DeLaViña accepted the call to serve as the College’s Interim Dean. She mastered the task with enthusiasm and consequential results.
On Dr. Bordelon’s arrival, Dr. DeLaViña will return to her former position as Professor of Mathematics & Associate Dean of the College of Sciences & Technology.
I truly appreciate Dr. Uzman and Dr. DeLaViña for their joint efforts to make the previous year a smooth one that has enabled our University to continue its upward trajectory.
Loren J. Blanchard, Ph.D.
President, University of Houston-Downtown