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.”
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.