12:04 PM

UHD and Mexican State of Tamaulipas Sign Collaboration Agreement Nov. 6


By Sheryl E. Taylor

Not long after his arrival as president of the University of Houston-Downtown (UHD), Dr. Juan Sánchez Muñoz hosted a visit in May with the Mexican delegation from the State of Tamaulipas.

The one-day visit acquainted the delegation with the University of Houston-Downtown (UHD) to gain a better understanding of the institution as well as to learn about the interests and needs of public/private universities in Tamaulipas (located in Northeastern Mexico).

In just a mere six months, the delegation returned to campus to make the spirit of collaboration official through a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between Tamaulipas and UHD with a signing ceremony on Nov. 6 in the Welcome Center's Tour Room.

Muñoz, who offered his remarks in a combination of Spanish and English, expressed his gratitude to the Tamaulipas delegation and the significance of this collaboration.

"To be an important university … a university that trains students to work anywhere in the world … you have to have a global presence in the world," he said. "This partnership will build relationships and sensibilities that are in our students' best interests, UHD's best interests and the world's best interests."

Joining President Muñoz in the MOU signing was The Honorable Héctor Escobar Salazar, secretary of education in the State of Tamaulipas. This agreement—a Spanish and English version will be housed at both institutions— summarizes the interests of the secretary of education in Tamaulipas and UHD.

According to Dr. Faiza Khoja, associate vice president of academic affairs, this agreement "will explore opportunities and facilitate the development of activities, programs, and partnerships of mutual academic and cultural benefit to both parties."

Tamaulipas Secretary of Education Salazar stressed that the true power of education lies in the transformative goals of people and society.

"Coexistence and interdependence are inseparable from individuals and societies," Salazar said. "For this reason it is necessary to have greater openness to allow cooperation and collaboration. Through this intellectual mixture of cooperation, collaboration and respect between our universities, we will train more professionals for the good of our communities."

Also in attendance at the event was Nelson Balido, special consultant for Bi-National Commerce & Public Affairs for the Office of the Governor (Tamaulipas); members of Salazar's Education team: Rubén Lozano, director of the Texas Tamaulipas Trade Office and Flavio Hinojosa, director of higher education; members of Houston's Consulate General of Mexico: Oscar Rodriguez Cabrera, Consul General; Oscar Solis, Consul of Economic Affairs; and Froylan Ruiz, Economic Affairs; Laura Murillo, president and CEO, Houston Hispanic Chamber of Commerce; Ed Hugetz, UHD interim senior vice president for Academic and Student Affairs and Provost; University of Houston System Regent and UHD alumna Paula Mendoza; UHD faculty, vice presidents and deans.