University Of Houston-Victoria
|UHV President Phil D. Castille, Ph.D.|
Dr. Phil Castille became the eighth president of the University of Houston-Victoria in August 2011. He immediately took up UHVs most important challenge – expanding from an upper-division commuter university offering junior, senior and graduate courses into a full-fledged residential university with first- and second-year classes. This ambitious process of adding freshmen and sophomores to an existing senior-level institution is often referred to as downward expansion.
Among the achievements of his first year as president are creating the UHV Guarantee, a generous financial aid opportunity for qualifying underclassmen; launching a year-long celebration of UHVs 40th anniversary in the UH System from 1973-2013; and extending UHVs educational reach across its entire service region, including Greater Houston and online.
Student recruitment and retention are focal points of his presidency, and these efforts have led to rapid gains in freshman and sophomore enrollments and the opening of a second residence hall in fall 2012. Campus infrastructure is a priority with more than $20 million in new construction projects in Victoria, including a third residence hall now under construction; and the Academic & Economic Development Building, set to break ground in early 2013 as UHVs first new academic building in Victoria since the late 1990s. These capital expansion projects are accompanied by development of a new draft campus master plan to guide growth and construction during the remainder of the decade and beyond.
Prior to joining UHV, Dr. Castille served as vice chancellor for academic affairs at the University of Hawaii-Hilo, where he oversaw all undergraduate and graduate academic programs, including the founding of a College of Pharmacy. Before that, he served as founding dean of the College of Arts & Letters at Eastern Washington University in Spokane/Cheney, and as founding director of the School of Literature & Language at Louisiana Tech University in Ruston.
President Castille earned his B.A. (Philosophy/English) from Tulane University, where he graduated Phi Beta Kappa. His M.A. (English) is from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and his Ph.D. (American Literature) is from Tulane.
Before becoming a full-time administrator in 1994 as head of the English Department at LaTech, he was a full-time faculty member at Tulane, the University of Memphis, and the University of Houston-Downtown. There he earned the University Teaching Award, taught in the Texas London Consortium at University College London, was a finalist for the Minnie Stevens Piper Foundation Texas University Teaching Award, and served as president of the Phi Beta Kappa Alumni Association of Greater Houston, which set national records for awarding scholarships to top high school graduates.
Dr. Castille has been a tenured professor at five public universities, specializing in teaching technical and scientific writing. Much of his scholarship has centered on Southern literature, film and culture. His work on William Faulkner, Robert Penn Warren, Erskine Caldwell and other authors has appeared in numerous books and journals that focus on the modern South. Since 1995, he has been a member of the St. George Tucker Society, which is by invitation only. Based at Emory University, it includes leading scholars in Southern studies. But he also has published widely beyond the literature of the South. His most recent article is on Jack London and the South Sea slave trade, which appears this year in Pacific Studies.
He is married to Shannon Amidon Castille. She holds an M.F.A. in creative writing and has published widely, winning the Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Prize for 2009. They are the parents of two sons, Edward (Ned) Castille, who attends pre-kindergarten classes in Victoria, and a newborn, Philip.