The University of Houston System announced that it has assembled a steering committee to guide its efforts in becoming the sole provider of programs at the University of Houston–Sugar Land campus.
University officials said they hope the transition will help build a viable branch campus in Sugar Land, support the efforts of University of Houston–Victoria in becoming a destination campus, and explore a new organizational arrangement to meet the community's needs, according to the UH System.
"The UH System has a unique opportunity to re-evaluate its overall mission of providing affordable education to as many students as possible," UH System Chancellor Renu Khator said. "In the process, it hopes to make the Victoria and Sugar Land locations capable of realizing their own vision of becoming the engine of economic and social development for their respective communities."
The committee, which is expected to deliver its first report in October, is tasked with planning the transition of both the UH–Victoria and UH–Sugar Land campuses. It will engage faculty, staff, students, alumni and community leaders—including through community forums in both Victoria and Sugar Land, which will be announced at a future date.
"The process of developing the upcoming transition plan is an opportunity to build something that is bold and unique, and that helps us close the achievement gap in Texas," Khator said.
The UH System announced it would be expanding or launching as many as 22 programs at UH–Sugar Land and plans to relocate a large part of its College of Technology there.
As UH expands its programs in Sugar Land, UHV and UH–Clear Lake will begin to cut back on their offerings. UHV's nursing program offered in Sugar Land will be transferred to the UH System to become part of the newly organized UH Health Science Center, according to university officials.
The transition committee is headed by Dean of Libraries Dana Rooks and UH Libraries Chairwoman Elizabeth Rockwell, who is serving as the executive planning director. The structure includes a steering committee, leadership committee and four separate work groups.
The four work groups represent different sections across UH. The UH–Victoria group is chaired by Charles Alcorn, director of corporate and foundation relations at UHV. The UH–Sugar Land group is chaired by Robert McPherson, dean of the College of Education at UH. The UH–Main Campus group is chaired by Earl Smith, interim chief health officer. The UH System group is chaired by William Staples, president of UH–Clear Lake.
Each group has been charged with distinctive tasks during the transition process.
Build a financially viable UH branch campus in Sugar Land
Support UHV's goal of becoming a self-sustaining destination university
Determine how to separate UHV's destination operations from its extension operations
Transfer UH–Victoria nursing program
Identify and mitigate impact on UH
Identify and mitigate impact on UH–Victoria and UH–Clear Lake
Explore an organizational arrangement that meets the UH System's need to serve its extended communities