12:24 PM

President's Classroom Visits Kick Off Fall Semester


By Mike Emery

During the first few weeks of the fall semester, a few University of Houston-Downtown (UHD) classes had a guest lecturer … University President, Dr. Juan Sánchez Muñoz.

President Muñoz, who also is teaching a Freshman Seminar course, sat in on lectures during the first two weeks of the semester. Among his stops was a writing class taught by Daniel Peña, assistant professor of English and award-winning novelist.

“Writing is not for the docile,” Muñoz told students. “Writers, by definition are provocateurs. You are fortunate … and UHD is fortunate to have a professor and writer such as Professor Peña.”

Muñoz addressed the value of artists and writers in academia, and engaged students in discussions on their semester goals.

“What you do here in this class will impact what you learn about economics, history, science and so many other subjects,” he said. "Successful people are creative. Successful people are agitators … they stimulate imaginations, and that’s what you will do in this class and at UHD.”

The visits and discussions were appreciated by both students and faculty. According to Peña, this was the first time he experienced a university president offering a guest lecture and meeting students at the start of the semester.

“I’ve had the privilege of teaching at a lot of institutions in a lot of places across the world. This would be a first for me—having the President of the University drop into class, taking time out of his busy schedule to check in on our students. I think it’s a real testament to Dr. Muñoz’s commitment to our students and to the classroom.”

About the University of Houston-Downtown

The University of Houston-Downtown (UHD) – the second-largest university in Houston – 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 more than 15,000 students; boasts more than 61,000 alumni and offers 45 bachelor’s, nine master’s degree programs and 16 fully online programs within five colleges (Marilyn Davies College of Business; Humanities & Social Sciences; Public Service; Sciences & Technology; and University College).

For the fourth consecutive year, U.S. News & World Report ranks UHD among universities across the nation for Best Online Criminal Justice Programs (No. 27 and No. 15 for Veterans) and Best Online Bachelor’s Programs.

UHD has the most affordable tuition among four-year universities in Houston and one of the lowest in Texas. U.S. News ranked the University among Top Performers on Social Mobility and awarded UHD a No. 1 ranking as the most diverse institution of higher education in the southern region of the U.S. The University is noted nationally as a Hispanic-Serving Institution, Minority-Serving Institution and Military Friendly School. For more on the University of Houston-Downtown, visit www.uhd.edu.