Virtual Spring 2022 Opening Meeting Provides Updates to Faculty, Staff
University of Houston-Downtown President Loren J. Blanchard and campus leadership shared updates and a snapshot for the semester during a virtual Welcome to Spring 2022 Opening Meeting on Monday, Jan. 24.
“As our institution grows and considers new approaches to serving our students and our communities, it is you – the faculty and staff – who will be leading that charge,” Blanchard said. “UHD will depend on your steadfast knowledge and expertise to help our campus expand to new and exciting endeavors. This gathering is also designed to provide critical details on our campus operations this semester and an overview of things to come this spring.”
The event began with greetings from Faculty Senate President Dr. Ed Cueva and Staff Council President Caroline Smith, followed by remarks by President Blanchard.
The President reminded faculty and staff that UHD’s soft opening status will continue with the expectation of resuming regular operations on Monday, Feb. 7. He added that the university is working with the city, state and national source to track any developments that might that timeline or operations on campus.
In addition, Blanchard encouraged the UHD Community to take advantage of free monthly vaccination clinics this spring, along with using hand sanitizer and mask dispenser stations throughout campus and visiting the Curative COVID Testing Kiosk near the Jesse H. Jones Student Life Center.
Blanchard reminded faculty and staff that as more people return to campus, several featured events will be held, including the President’s Lecture Series featuring Nikole Hannah-Jones on Wednesday, Feb. 9. The series is sponsored in part by the ECMC Foundation and hosts guests and panel discussions on topics such as health equity in communities of color; environmental justice and sustainability; and inclusive excellence and creating diverse organizations.
Other noted topics covered during the event included UHD’s Strategic Plan and the work of the Strategic Planning Committee and the upcoming fifth year review by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACSCOC), which was presented by Dr. Sheila Lloyd, Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs.
Blanchard noted that UHD’s Institutional Compass serves as a directional guide of the University’s mission as it is based on the Four Points of Excellence that include strengthening justice, bolstering student success and equity, supporting institutional excellence, and growing as an anchor institution.
“I know that with focus, we can utilize this time and feedback to strengthen our resolve and further commit our energies toward creating not just ‘a’ university for Houston but ‘the’ university for Houston,” he said.
Following the President’s address, other University leaders provided updates from their respective divisions including Interim Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Akif Uzman, Dr. Sheila Lloyd, Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs; Dr. Daniel Villanueva, Vice President of Enrollment Management; Interim Vice President for Administration and Finance Marty Baylor; and Director of Emergency Management Cynthia Vargas.
The University Community may watch the meeting in its entirety by viewing the video above.
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 60,000 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 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.