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Robert K. “Bob” Glenn has spent more than three decades in higher education, serving students throughout. He became the 10th president of the University of Houston-Victoria on Aug. 1, 2018. Prior to moving to Victoria with his wife, Laurie, he served as the 36th president of Athens State University for 10 years. Glenn also was vice president for student affairs and vice provost for enrollment and academic services at Middle Tennessee State University (1999-2008) and dean of students at Missouri State University (1993-1999). His “A Jaguar Journey” blog is intended to provide members of the UHV faculty, staff and student body, as well as alumni and members of the community, a direct connection to what he is doing as the new UHV president. Readers are encouraged to share their views and ideas by posting to the comments section.  

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Happy belated new year to UHV faculty, staff

Posted By Dr. Bob Glenn, Thursday, October 3, 2019

 

I want to start this post with a greeting and then an apology.  The greeting is “Happy New Year!” Many people celebrate the new year on Jan. 1, but on college and university campuses around the country, our new year is the start of school in the fall. So, “Happy New Year” to all of you in Jaguar Nation. The apology is because I should have said this about six weeks ago. In fact, it has been about two months since my last blog post. In my defense, the common denominator here is just exactly how busy it has been at UHV during that time.

 

Since my last post, we have had a number of new colleagues join us. Ken Colwell, our new dean of the School of Business Administration, joined us July 15. Chance Glenn, our new provost and vice president for academic affairs, joined us Aug. 5. Jose Cantu, our new vice president for enrollment management, joined us Sept. 9. We have had a cadre of new faculty members joining the ranks since mid-August. This includes Esther Cuenca, Aaron Deason, Hardik Gohel, Humberto Hernandez, Rebecca Heron, Tong Kang, Brent Lang, Kwan Lee, Melanie Lemanski, Sneha Nayar-Bhalerao, Emmanuel Quansah, Abran Rodriguez, Brooks Sterritt, Raymond Stricklin and Scheila Wesley Martins. At this point, I want to be sure and acknowledge faculty members Laura Mammina and Woodrow Wagner, who organized a great orientation program for new faculty. We also have the following new staff members: Kevin Farnsworth, Amanda Rathbun, Lance Richardson, Ashley Sanchez and Heidi Shook.

 

Just like traditional new year celebrations, we are celebrating all of the new things and people in our lives that we will be enjoying during the coming year. I am very excited to have the UHV Executive Committee complete and in place so that we can begin the next part of every new year: deciding how we are going to change ourselves or our circumstances in the new year. Naturally, I say this with some reticence since New Year’s resolutions are notoriously short lived and often abandoned. But there is great energy to viewing our circumstances with new eyes and imagining a future of our own making.

 

In the coming year, I intend to spend a significant portion of my time engaging my colleagues, new and old, in a conversation about the future of UHV. What do we see for ourselves? I think the logical starting point is to talk about how we see ourselves. Just exactly who are we? What are we here for? If we had to state our mission in just one short sentence, what would that look like? I already have begun the conversation with the vice presidents and deans. I have asked the deans to begin a conversation with their respective faculty members. In due course, I hope to have a number of conversations with focus groups as well as with both the Faculty Senate and the Staff Council. I expect lively conversations.

 

As I have said before, I do not believe it is the president’s job to decide on and then declare the mission of the university. Rather, I believe it is the job of the president to perceive the consensus of his colleagues in order to clearly articulate what our mission is and then become the chief advocate and tireless communicator of that vision, as well as the primary warrior and champion of that cause. I believe there is a great future in store for UHV. I am excited about the energy being generated by all of our new colleagues. I look forward to what I believe these lively conversations are going to reveal about our future. I invite you to share your views with me directly by email or by participating in a focus group as we move forward. The questions I will be asking are simple: Who are we? What are we here for? Why would any student forego other institutions to come here? How do we best serve our region? How do we build an exceptional university community? I look forward to hearing your thoughts.

 

In the meantime, Happy New Year!

Tags:  Chance Glenn  Jose Cantu  Ken Colwell  New year  UHV 

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UHV president sets goals for upcoming year

Posted By Dr. Bob Glenn, Monday, July 15, 2019

 

Part of the annual cycle at the University of Houston-Victoria, and all universities, is setting goals for the coming year. The setting of goals is a process that puts ourselves in control of our lives in order to be proactive instead of reactive. I like the way Stephen Covey puts it in his book “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People.” In the book, he asserts that we each have “two ways to put ourselves in control of our lives immediately. We can make a promiseand keep it. Or we can set a goal – and work to achieve it.”

 

The institution has goals that usually appear in a strategic plan, a document I plan to revisit once Chance Glenn, the new UHV provost and vice president for academic affairs, arrives in August. Each of us who is working to move the institution forward, in whatever role we have here, also needs to have goals that allow us to work in a way that achieves positive progress for ourselves and the institution. I also am a proponent of doing everything I can in the most transparent way I can. So I want to share the goals with you so that you can hold me accountable in much the same way as the UH System Chancellor will do at the end of the coming year. Here they are:

 

1.      Make progress on UHV Progress Card measures.

2.      Develop academic programs that are consistent with UHV’s mission and regional workforce needs, and are in demand by students.

3.      Revise and update UHV Master Plans for academic programs and campus development.

4.      Manage the transition of UHV operations to the new UH System building in Katy, and continue to provide leadership toward a cohesive and effective identity and strategy for the University of Houston-Victoria at Katy.

5.      Complete construction projects in a timely manner and within budget.

6.      Support efforts to start men’s and women’s basketball at UHV in fall 2020.

7.      Prepare for a successful visit by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools – Commission on Colleges for UHV’s fifth-year accreditation review.

8.      Work with community leaders to develop and implement quality of life initiatives that will make Victoria a more attractive destination for college students and young professionals.

9.      Continue to build UHV in Victoria as a destination campus, including supporting fundraising and alumni activities that enhance our development into a destination university.

              10. Create a positive culture where compliance and respect are highly valued.

 

I also have a list of what I call “Focus Areas.” These are important tasks that will occupy my time and attention but do not rise to the level of goals. I will share those in my next blog post. In the meantime, I encourage you to share your thoughts with me about these goals. And, if there is something that you don’t see on this short list but believe should be there, then speak up and tell me what that is. I look forward to the conversation.

Tags:  basketball  destination campus  goals  Stephen Covey  UHV 

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Young professionals discuss ways to make Victoria ‘destination town’

Posted By Dr. Bob Glenn, Friday, June 21, 2019

 

My wife, Laurie, and I recently were privileged to host 30 young professionals to begin the conversation about developing a young professionals’ network in Victoria. We had engineers from area plants; faculty and staff from UHV, Victoria College and Victoria Independent School District; lawyers; accountants; entrepreneurs; and nonprofit directors. It was a strong representation of the people who are the lifeblood of Victoria’s future. These people have made a deliberate choice to come here and create a life for themselves. That’s exciting to be around because it will have a tremendous impact on all of us.

 

I explained to the group that the university is committed to being a catalyst in getting the young professionals’ network up and running. As I have said before, my mission as UHV’s president is to make UHV a destination university. In my view, part of making UHV a destination involves making Victoria a destination. And part of making Victoria a destination means ensuring there is a healthy and nurturing environment for young professionals so that when they come here, they will decide to stay. That led me to invite this exceptional group of professionals to begin the conversation about what is needed and where we go from here.

 

In terms of what is needed, the group mentioned a number of things that will really help young professionals, as well as everybody else. Interestingly, but not surprisingly, there were a number of things mentioned in this group that have been expressed in other conversations we are having with the community. Among those issues was mention of a reliable and more comprehensive calendar with accurate information about what is happening in Victoria and the region. Gathering spaces, particularly a dog park, were seen as a real need. Making the city a place where people can both walk and bike is seen as a plus by those who want to maintain their fitness. Gatherings to allow young professionals to meet and network with other young professionals are highly desirable. This was especially evident when, during the course of a lively conversation, there were several comments along the lines of “I don’t know any of these people!” and “Where have you people been since I came here?”

 

In terms of what to do next, it was the clear preference of the group to move forward to build this network. The group has chosen the third Tuesday of the month as the regular meeting time for those interested in connecting with this effort. That means the group will next meet on July 16. We will find a spot where the group can gather, fellowship together and then talk business. If you have an interest in connecting with the group, the best way to do so in the near future is to send me an email at glennrk@uhv.edu. We hope to put together a website or Facebook page soon to allow folks to find us. Keep an eye on this blog for more to come.

Tags:  destination town  destination university  dog park  UHV  young professionals 

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UHV, VC and VISD partner up to provide pathways for students in region

Posted By Dr. Bob Glenn, Wednesday, June 5, 2019

 

In previous posts, I have mentioned the signs of civic success from the book “Our Towns” by Deborah and James Fallows. The first sign of civic success was that “people work together on practical local possibilities rather than allowing bitter disagreements about national politics to keep them apart.” Second was that “you can pick out the local patriots.” Here is their third sign of success, which I would assert frames an opportunity for UHV and Victoria to think about our future together:

 

The phrase “public-private partnership” refers to something real. “Through the years, I had heard about ‘public-private partnerships’ but had thought of this as just another slogan. If it meant anything at all, it was probably a euphemism for sweetheart deals between big government and big business – the ‘public-private partnership’ to build the latest fighter plane, for instance. In successful towns, people can point to something specific and say, ‘This is what a partnership means.’ In Greenville, S.C., the public school system includes an ‘Elementary School of Engineering’ in a poor neighborhood. The city runs the school; local industries including GE, BMW and Michelin send in engineers to teach and supervise science fairs at the companies’ expense. In little Holland, Mich., a large family-owned scrap-recycling company works with the state correctional system to hire ex-convicts who would otherwise have trouble re-entering the work force. In Fresno, Calif., a collaboration among the city, county and state governments, the local colleges and universities, and several tech start-ups trains high school dropouts and other unemployed people in computer skills. The details vary, but the more specifically a community can explain what their public-private partnerships mean, the better.”

 

In my view, UHV has a great opportunity to partner up in our community with both the Victoria Independent School District and Victoria College. Early on in my tenure at UHV, I began meeting with VISD Superintendent Quintin Shepherd and VC President David Hinds. We now meet every month without fail to talk about partnerships.

 

Soon you will see banners going up around town that declare to Victoria that VISD, VC and UHV are “Partners in Your Education.” By that, we want to proclaim to all children in this region that there are pathways to whatever future they can imagine for themselves. We want people to know we are partners and not competitors to help our students get to that future. We want to put students in the position of choosing for themselves the path that best fits them and know that we will honor and affirm those choices. Higher education as a whole always has been bad at collaboration. Collectively, we tend to wait and see who shows up at our doors. To be successful in the future, I would assert that we need to reach back deliberately and pull students forward. We are already in conversation with VISD and VC about what we can do together. Possibilities like laboratory schools, planning innovative new curriculums, and professional development programs for teachers leap to mind.

 

UHV is fortunate that Dr. Hinds and Dr. Shepherd see the future as we do and are ready to work with us in blazing new trails. When that happens, I believe we can partner up with private entities like Caterpillar, Dow, Formosa or some of the other exceptional companies in the region to bring the public-private partnership concept to reality. I am optimistic that there will come a time when the Fallows write their next book that they will cite our partnerships in Victoria like they have done with Greenville, Holland and Fresno. There’s more to come. Stay tuned.

 Attached Thumbnails:

Tags:  James and Deborah Fallows  public-private partnership  UHV  VC  VISD 

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Being busy means great things are happening at UHV

Posted By Dr. Bob Glenn, Monday, April 15, 2019

 

I recently was searching through a website about quotes, and I came across a section about the subject of being busy. I encountered many expected quotes. Quotes about the difference between being “busy” and being “productive.” Quotes about not being so wrapped up in being busy that we lose sight of the things most important in our lives, like relationships. But the thing I found most interesting was the number of quotes by people from a wide range of fields about the joy of being busy. In some cases, they were from people who waited a long time for the recognition in their fields that now made them busy. In some cases, they were from people who just enjoy doing, rather than being idle. In whatever case, it is worth noting that while being busy can wear you out, it also can be a cause for delight.

 

As I looked at my calendar for the next two weeks, I am hopeful that I can find the joy in being busy because we have three very important searches coming to fruition all at the same time. This week, we will have three candidates interviewing for our vacant provost position. A committee comprised primarily of faculty has been working since December to advertise the position, receive the applications, sort through the possibilities and pick the best possible candidates to bring to campus. I commend the committee on a job well done. You can read about those finalists here. Looking over the group of finalists, I am excited about the future of this institution. It says a great deal for us that we can attract candidates of this caliber, and it also speaks for our potential when you stop to think about what they can help us accomplish.

 

At the same time, we also have three candidates coming to campus to interview for our vacant vice president for enrollment management position. An equally dedicated group of campus professionals has been working since December to bring us to this moment in time. And again, when I look at the finalists, I am excited about our potential to grow as a destination university.

 

And we will have two candidates visiting campus to interview for our vacant dean of the School of Business Administration position. Once again, a focused and dedicated committee worked long hours to bring us to this juncture. The committee has been very successful in identifying exceptional candidates for this opportunity. The committee originally identified three candidates, but one of them already has been snatched away by another university.

 

So, the next two weeks will be very, very busy! My calendar is full from early in the morning to late each evening. But this is the kind of busy that makes one glad to be alive and engaged in good work. I know that everyone reading this is busy, as well, but I hope UHV faculty, staff and students will take the time to visit with these candidates. In addition, I encourage community members in both Victoria and Katy to attend the public forums for the provost finalists. The public forums are important aspects of this process because they give everyone a chance to see and hear the candidates. Of equal importance, however, is that the forums give the candidates a chance to see and engage with our community. I would encourage you to join in and hear what the candidates have to say.

 

All of this will be occurring on a campus that already was buzzing like a beehive. With three new buildings going up, it is impossible not to be excited by our future. Just this week, I had the opportunity to tour the University Commons student center as it nears completion. In just a few short weeks, the library will begin moving into the facility, and it should be open to the campus this summer. The framing for the new Don and Mona Smith Hall is going up and should be complete in about six weeks. Once the framing is done, construction on the residence hall will move ahead steadily. And the construction crew is nearly finished putting into place more than 200 foundation piers for the new Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Building. The foundation and vertical structure will not be far behind.

 

So if being busy makes you happy, we all should be very happy at UHV. We are in an exceptionally dynamic time in our development and history. Great things are in the future for us. I am excited about what lies ahead. I hope you are as well.

Tags:  busy  enrollment management  provost  School of Business Administration  University Commons 

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College admissions scandal also brings good news

Posted By Dr. Bob Glenn, Thursday, March 21, 2019

 

On March 19, the Advocate printed an editorial from the Los Angeles Times concerning the ongoing college admissions scandal. I do not take issue with any of the views expressed. I would assert, however, that this is a “good news, bad news” situation. The Los Angeles Times ably stated the case for the bad news, but I would like to remind readers of the good news.

 

The good news is that while there certainly are problems with college admissions, especially at institutions where there is a very high level of competition to get in, the reality is that at the vast majority of public institutions, there are few obstacles for admission, and any student willing to do the work has an opportunity to improve his or her life. I would assert that the University of Houston-Victoria is a clear example of what is good about public education, particularly in the state of Texas.

 

Let me start by stating my bias clearly. Public higher education is intended to be focused on benefiting society. It is intended to achieve two primary goals. The first goal is to be an economic driver of good for the region it serves by providing access to education that lifts individuals up through their own labor. The link between obtaining a degree and economic prosperity is clearly documented. The individual obtaining the degree is better able to secure a prosperous future, and the region benefits from the growing number of people in better paying jobs. Prosperity can be judged by per capita income, and per capita income rises when the percentage of individuals with degrees increases.

 

In addition to preparing an individual to be a contributing member of the community, the second goal of public higher education is to better prepare individuals to be active participants in an educated citizenry. A representative democracy such as ours requires that its citizens be engaged. Citizens have choices to make between parties and candidates, and choices to make about issues that affect the common welfare. We all benefit when those choices are made cognitively and logically, rather than emotionally. The framers of our form of government always saw education (from K-12 to higher education) as an avenue to making good decisions. I would argue that education is a vital cornerstone of a democracy.

 

There are many reasons why so many students want to attend great institutions like the University of Houston, the University of Texas, Texas A&M University and others. There also is the reality that these institutions cannot accept all applicants. The result is that there will be occasions when the system doesn’t work the way it should, and inequities will result. But let me state again the good news. The good news for the people of Texas is that there is a network of regional public institutions clearly focused on helping students get from wherever they are to wherever they need to be in order to better their lives and be full participants in the marketplace of ideas that is our democracy. That’s why UHV is a proud member of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities Opportunities for All initiative that works to increase awareness about these regional public institutions and the important role they play in providing a high-quality and accessible education to a diverse student population, as well as contributing to regional and state economic development. The good news for the people of the Coastal Bend region is that UHV, Victoria College and the Victoria Independent School District all are providing a broad highway to a bright future.

Tags:  AASCU  Opportunities for All  UHV  Victoria College  VISD 

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Local patriots keep Victoria going

Posted By Dr. Bob Glenn, Wednesday, March 13, 2019

 

I read an article in Tuesday’s Victoria Advocate about Omar Rachid. Omar is an outgoing member of the UHV President’s Regional Advisory Board and is moving from Victoria to the Dallas area.

 

I was struck by the number of leadership positions he has held during his time here and how much of a void will be left by his departure. It reminded me of Deborah and James Fallows’ second sign of civic success mentioned in their book, “Our Towns.” Their first sign of success is that “people work together on practical local possibilities, rather than allowing bitter disagreements about national politics to keep them apart.” Here is what they have as their second sign of civic success:

 

You can pick out the local patriots. “A standard question we’d ask soon after arrival was ‘Who makes this town go?’ The range of answers varied widely. Sometimes it was a person in an official position of leadership, a mayor or city council figure. Sometimes it was a local business titan or a real estate developer. Sometimes a university president or professor, or a civic activist, or an artist or saloonkeeper or historian or radio personality. Sometimes a person with no official position but whose influence everyone felt. What mattered was that the question had an answer. In one city in Appalachia, we asked a newspaper editor that question, and he said that no one came to mind, but he would think about it overnight. In another southern city, the answer was the commanding officer at a nearby military base – but since the command rotated frequently, there was no permanent local patriot. The more quickly this question was answered, the better shape a town was in.”

 

Clearly, Omar Rachid is on the list of Victoria’s “local patriots,” and his departure will be felt by all who know him. But the good news is that Victoria is blessed with many “patriots.” I won’t even try to make a list in this forum of all the folks who deserve such a mantle. At the same time, I would love to hear from you about who the patriot is in your part of Victoria. As we look to bring more voices into the conversation about making Victoria a destination, it will be important to include these powerful voices. I hope you will take a moment to ponder the possibilities and contact me at glennrk@uhv.edu or @UHVPresident on Twitter.

 

And here I would like to make note of another great book on improving cities called “For the Love of Cities” by Peter Kageyama. One of the author’s contentions is that cities are improved by people who choose to invest themselves in the process because they love the city and because they are enabled by the city to assume leadership roles. He goes on to suggest that the city where assuming leadership is easy means there is a greater chance to make changes. It has been my experience here in Victoria that folks are open to leadership, and many newcomers have been able to step up and have an impact where it might be more difficult in other places. I see this as a great strength for Victoria.

 

I certainly am going to miss Omar and what he brought to this great city. But the question I ask myself is this: Who here will step up to assume the mantle? Who will step into this opportunity to become one of Victoria’s patriots?

Tags:  James and Deborah Fallows  local patriots  Omar Rachid  Our Towns  UHV  Victoria 

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UHV students make compelling case to legislators for budget

Posted By Dr. Bob Glenn, Monday, March 4, 2019

 

During the past month, I have spent quite a bit of time in Austin as we have gone about the business of talking with our state legislators about the university’s budget for the coming biennium.

 

The first two times, I was there to testify before the budget committees of the House and the Senate. These are formal occasions and are highly structured. Each institution’s president is given three minutes to make his case, and then there is a question-and-answer period. When you stop to think about the number of presidents who come before the committees, it is easy to see right away that these are long and tiresome days for everyone involved. They are long and tiresome but also very, very necessary.

 

As I watched the hearings, I was impressed by the attention given by legislators to the task and to each institution. The questions asked by legislators reflected their connections to the various institutions and to the issues being faced by higher education. I was encouraged by what I saw. It may not be a perfect process, but I see it as one that is thorough and transparent. That is a good thing for taxpayers and a good thing for UHV.

 

But my third visit to the Capitol was by the far the best. On Feb. 25, we brought a busload of UHV students to meet with legislators and make the case for the budget. I really cannot say enough positive things about the job our students did for us. They were both enthusiastic and passionate about their university. The students took their job seriously and had studied our budget request so they could answer even difficult questions. It just made my heart warm to watch them go to work on behalf of UHV.

 

At the end of the day, a university is in the people business. We deliver services to people through our people, and the end product is graduates who are more productive and engaged in making a difference in this state. When I have the opportunity to see our students in action, I am reminded that UHV can stand toe-to-toe with any university in this state or any other. We do great work. Our students are the best example of what we can accomplish. I am very proud to have a chance to work with them. I hope you feel the same way.

 

I have several more trips to make to Austin before the end of this legislative session. It is not the easiest thing I do, but it is a very important task. The good news for me is that the students have given me the energy to move forward and stay focused. Working for them is important work that gives meaning to what I do.

Tags:  Austin  budget  Capitol  Legislature  UHV 

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Successful cities focus on practical problems, not national politics

Posted By Dr. Bob Glenn, Monday, February 11, 2019

 

In my last blog post, I talked about maintaining part of my focus as UHV president on helping Victoria become a “destination” in its own right as we work to make UHV a destination campus. I mentioned a book that I would highly recommend to anyone who wants to join the work to make our city more livable and more attractive for newcomers. The book is “Our Towns: A 100,000-Mile Journey into the Heart of America” by Deborah and James Fallows.

 

This journalistic duo traveled around the country looking at cities that were thriving and undergoing a resurgence. They developed a list of 10 1/2 signs of civic success. Here is what they listed as the first sign:

 

People work together on practical local possibilities rather than allowing bitter disagreements about national politics to keep them apart. “We were traveling during the run-up to the bitter midterm elections of 2014, and then while the Supreme Court was ruling on same-sex marriage and Obamacare, and then as the 2016 presidential campaign, including the Trump insurgency, was gathering steam. People knew we were visiting from Washington, and some learned, by asking, that I had once worked for a Democratic president. Given the places we were traveling, I imagine that many of the people we interviewed were Trump supporters. But it just didn’t come up. Cable TV shows often were playing in the background – most frequently Fox News – and if people had stopped to talk about the TV fare, they might have disagreed with each other and with us. Yet overwhelmingly, the focus in successful towns was not on insoluble national divisions but on practical problems a community could address. The more often national politics came into local discussions, the worse shape the town likely was to be in.”

 

There is no question that we live in contentious times. Every day our newspapers and TV news programs are crammed with examples of division. And yet, the Fallows found people across the country who could work with other people at opposite ends of the political divide to achieve success on local issues. We may not be able to agree on who should be president, but we can agree that we need a greenway along the Guadalupe River. Barbs may fly when we talk about who should be in Congress, but we all can agree that we need more and better restaurants.

 

So here is my question for this week: What needs to be done in Victoria to make it a destination? What local projects can we can agree on and focus our resources and energies toward? Again, I would invite you to contact me at glennrk@uhv.edu, and tell me the one or two projects that are important to you and that you would be ready to work on with others to solve. Next week, I will talk about what I hear, or in the absence of responses, I will talk about the projects I hope will generate some excitement. So don’t be bashful. Let me hear from you.

Tags:  destination campus  James and Deborah Fallows  national politics  UHV  Victoria 

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Creating destination campus requires destination community

Posted By Dr. Bob Glenn, Friday, February 1, 2019

 

One of the most important responsibilities of a university president is to be a leader. But it is important to remember that the duty to lead is not confined to just campus. A university and the community in which it is located are inextricably intertwined. Whatever is good for the university is good for the community. And whatever is good for the community is also good for the university.

 

Consequently, as I have contemplated my work here, I have been spending part of my time thinking about what needs to be done in Victoria in addition to what needs to be done on campus.

 

My charge from the chancellor is to make UHV a “destination campus.” While I still am trying to get a clear vision of exactly what that means, one thing is crystal clear. For UHV to be a destination, we have to have a place where potential students will be excited about spending three to four years of their lives. And that means that Victoria itself has to become more of a destination.

 

In talking with area industry leaders, I found that they face a similar struggle. They are not trying to attract college students, but they are trying to recruit young professionals to this area. Many have expressed frustration that they can get a young professional to come to this area, but more often than not, they don’t stay. Quality of life is almost always the reason they leave.

 

I want to be clear that I am not suggesting that Victoria does not have the quality of life amenities to attract and retain residents. My wife and I, as new residents, have been delighted with what we have found here. But we are not young professionals or students. In my view, there is work to be done to make Victoria more vibrant. The university has a role to play in making that happen.

 

Toward that end, I have begun meeting with a small group of community leaders. We have talked about past efforts that have come and gone. And we have talked about the best way we can move forward, here and now. Naturally, this group will need to expand over time, and we need to bring more voices into the conversation. And that is the point of this post. If you care about Victoria and are willing to be a part of the discussion, please let me know. There is enough work that will need to be done on campus and in the community to keep a large cadre of committed volunteers busy for a very long time.

 

A saying that always has meant a great deal to me over the years is one by Reinhold Niebuhr. He said, “There is no greater sinner than the man who does nothing because he cannot do it all.” I fully realize that making UHV and Victoria a “destination” is an accomplishment that will not be achieved during my tenure. Work such as this takes many years to finish. But I – we – can make a good start. We can do the work that is in front of us knowing that it will lead to the desired result. I am committed to dedicating my time, efforts and resources to this work, and I will commit the university to help in the effort in every way that is prudent and appropriate. I hope that some of you who are reading this now will be willing to make the same commitment. If you are, please drop me a line at glennrk@uhv.edu. I would be delighted to bring you into the conversation.

 

In the coming weeks, I will be sharing with you more thoughts about this topic, and in particular, I want to share a book I am reading that I believe is on-point. It is called “Our Towns” by James and Deborah Fallows. You might want to check it out. More to come. 

Tags:  destination campus  destination town  James and Deborah Fallows  UHV  Victoria 

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