Tim Hudson, president of the University of Houston-Victoria, is now communicating on Twitter about the university’s work to expand to a destination university and other issues.
“Many would say that I am one of the least likely people around to be using Twitter,” Hudson said. “After all, I’m just getting used to reading text messages on my cell phone. But the world of communication is changing at a breakneck speed, so Twitter it is. I want to keep everyone informed about what is happening at UHV, and I want to get fresh input on our transformation to a four-year university in the fall of 2010.”
Twitter is a way to communicate with others by exchanging quick messages, called “tweets,” of 140 characters or fewer. These messages are posted to the sender’s Twitter profile and sent to those who choose to follow the person through the Web or cell phone. The posts also are searchable on Twitter.
“If I can manage the technology, anyone can,” Hudson said. “The real challenge, as anyone who knows me can verify, is keeping my posts within the 140-character limit.”
So far, Hudson has posted messages about various topics, including adding freshmen at UHV, the role of great books in higher education today, the offer of a jaguar sculpture to the university, and the pros and cons of Kindle, a device for reading electronic books.
“In many of my posts, I ask for ideas from people,” Hudson said. “I’ve been surprised about how viral and current Twitter is. I think it might prove to be an interesting, interactive tool to reach prospective students and get feedback about UHV issues.”
A recent article in the Wall Street Journal estimated the number of users of the popular micro-blogging service at 32.1 million, up from 1.6 million a year ago. Although the number of users is growing rapidly, only a small number of university presidents are using Twitter as a communication tool, according to an April 10 article in the Chronicle of Higher Education.
Hudson’s Twitter page can be viewed at twitter.com/UHVPresident. Those interested in joining Twitter and posting their own messages or receiving Hudson’s posts can go to twitter.com, and click on the “Get Started” button.