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New Dean of University College


By Sheryl E. Taylor

After a national search, Dr. Scott Marzilli joined UHD as dean of University College and chief student success officer on June 1.

Marzilli served as assistant vice president for Academic Innovation & Student Success and dean of the University College at The University of Texas at Tyler (UT Tyler). Marzilli’s first impression of UHD was displayed on its web homepage: Finish UHD Strong.

“I learned quickly that UHD is about providing accessible pathways, affordability and attainability,” said Marzilli. “All students are not created exactly the same or don’t fall into the exact same mold. UHD understands that you have to create pathways and avenues for each individual student’s success. I knew that UHD was the best fit for me.”

The native Southern Californian holds a Ph.D. in motor behavior from Florida State University; a Master of Science in human movement & sports and a Bachelor of Science in physical education/kinesiology from California Polytechnic State University. The award-winning educator’s career spans more than 20 years in higher education, Dean Dr. Scott Marzilliand he has led several student success initiatives at UT Tyler.

“When it comes time for my son to go to the college, I want to be assured that the university he chooses provides him the opportunity to both grow as an individual, as well as provide support to him, if and when he needs it,” said Marzilli. “Some schools are great at this, but not every school gets it. UHD gets it. This University is committed to helping students succeed in the 21st century by giving them academic and real-life skills of teamwork, innovation and creativity to be prepared for their future careers and making their dreams come true.”

Marzilli fills the position previously held by Dr. Chris Birchak whose career spanned more than 30 years at the University.

[The article was published in the latest edition of UHD Magazine.]

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.