16:31 PM

Olivas Reflects on First Two Weeks in Interim President Role

Michael A. Olivas, interim president of UHD. As UHD's interim president, Michael A. Olivas has hit the ground running. On Feb. 4, he addressed the UHD community at the opening of the Welcome Center and O'Kane Gallery. Since then, he has been involved with meetings and events with faculty, staff and leadership across the University and in the community.

Several of these meetings have focused on SACSCOC reaccreditation and our Quality Enhancement Plan, Academic Achievement Through Community Engagement. Other meetings have focused on the updated 2020 Strategic Plan, which will be reviewed in depth in future issues of Skyline.

In between, Olivas is meeting with departments across the campus. Coming up on his agenda is the University of Houston System Board of Regents meeting Thursday, Feb. 18.

In the near future, Olivas will continue his "listening tour" of UHD in a series of focus groups with faculty, staff and students. In these meetings, he hopes to learn about issues that affect us and our approaches to celebrating our achievements and resolving our challenges together. Communications regarding these meetings will be shared soon.

Fundraising also is high on the interim president's agenda. In addition to his interest in meeting with corporate leadership, alumni and foundation representatives, he also is an enthusiastic supporter of the 2016 Faculty & Staff Gift to Gators Campaign, which will get under way March 21.

Olivas has ambitious plans for his time at UHD and sees numerous opportunities to further the mission of providing strong career preparation and lifelong learning opportunities to enable student success. "I see my role as being a facilitator who can work with faculty, staff and students to help make UHD a better place," he said. "This is an excellent place to teach and learn, and my goal is to leave the University in even better shape than I found it."

In other news, a selection committee has been appointed for the position of president of UHD. Read here for more details.