UHD Presidential Candidates Visiting Campus During November and December
By Mike Emery
The search for the next University of Houston-Downtown President is progressing, and candidates are visiting campus in November and December.
Candidates visiting UHD are as follows:
- Dr. Junius J. Gonzalez
- Dr. Rhonda M. Gonzales
- Dr. Loren James Blanchard
- Dr. Antonio D. Tillis
Dr. Junius J. Gonzales is the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs at the New York Institute of Technology. He previously served as Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs for the University of North Carolina (UNC) System. He also held the post of Interim President for the UNC System and served as Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs at the University of Texas at El Paso. Dr. Junius J. Gonzales holds a Bachelor’s degree from Brown University, an M.D. with honors from the University of Pennsylvania, and an MBA with honors from the University of Maryland.
Dr. Rhonda M. Gonzales serves as the Stumberg Endowed Distinguished University Chair for the Dean of Liberal and Fine Arts at the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA). Presently, she also serves as Interim Dean for UTSA’s College of Liberal and Fine Arts and as a Professor of History. Additionally, Dr. Rhonda M. Gonzales serves UTSA as an Associate Provost for Strategic Initiatives. She has served as a UTSA History faculty member for 16 years and previously held the post of Interim Vice President for Student Success. She holds Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees and a Ph.D. from the University of California, Los Angeles.
Dr. Loren James Blanchard presently serves as Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic and Student Affairs and a Professor in the College of Education at California State University. He previously held the post of Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs at Xavier University and served as a faculty member for its Division of Education. Prior to that role, he served as Associate Vice Chancellor for Academic & Multicultural Affairs and as a faculty member at the Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center and as Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs at the University of Louisiana System of Colleges and Universities and Vice President for Accreditation, Leadership and Accountability. He holds a Bachelor’s degree from Xavier University, a Master’s degree from McNeese State University and a Ph.D. from the University of Georgia.
Dr. Antonio D. Tillis currently serves as Interim President of the University of Houston-Downtown. He previously held the post of Dean of the College of Liberal Arts & Social Sciences at the University of Houston and MD Anderson Professor in Hispanic Studies. Prior to UH, Dr. Tillis served as Dean of the School of Languages, Culture & World Affairs at the College of Charleston; Chair of African & African American Studies at Dartmouth College; and the inaugural Chair of Latin American & Latino Studies at Purdue University. He holds a Bachelor’s degree from Vanderbilt University, a Master’s degree from Howard University and a Ph.D. from the University of Missouri.
The national search for UHD’s next President began this summer with support from executive search firm Anthem Executive and a committee chaired by University of Houston-Victoria President, Dr. Robert “Bob” K. Glenn. Committee members include a cross-section of community stakeholders, UHD Community members and representatives from the University of Houston System.
Additional details on candidates and the search process can be found on the UHD Presidential Search website.
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.