University of Houston-Victoria



President Selection Criteria

The University of Houston System Board of Regents and the Victoria community invite nominations and applications for the position of President of the University of Houston - Victoria. The University’s next President will offer innovative and dynamic leadership to advance UHV’s legacy of success.

The University of Houston-Victoria seeks a growth-minded, innovative, community-oriented President who has current knowledge of national higher education issues. This individual must bring a strong vision for the University’s future, along with a strategic, thoughtful understanding of how to advance the University in conjunction with the UHV Long Range Strategic Plan 2016-2021. The University community expects a staunch advocate, a stable presence, and an inspirational, congenial leader capable of orchestrating and driving growth in degree programs, enrollment, retention, and revenues.

The candidate must be able to make complex decisions; recognize the importance of shared governance; manage diverse relationships; build consensus; and practice unquestionable integrity. She or he is expected to build partnerships and collaborate for the well-being of UHV, the University of Houston System, the community, the higher education sector, and the state of Texas.

About UHV

Mission. The University of HoustonVictoria (UHV), a dynamic destination institution serving Texas and the world, is dedicated to providing every student educational and leadership opportunities to become a successful professional and an engaged global citizen. Here innovative educational activities challenge students to make meaningful connections between their learning and their lives in a complex world. UHV promotes economic development and advances quality of life through teaching, research, and service excellence.

Overview. The University of Houston-Victoria offers 70 bachelor’s and master’s degrees and concentrations in the arts and sciences; business administration; and education, health professions and human development fields. UHV provides accredited face-to-face and online programs to students in the Gulf Coast region and beyond. Since its founding in 1973, UHV has provided students with a quality higher education taught by talented faculty at a great value. UHV has 4,429 students (3,312 undergraduates and 1,117 graduates) from 19 states and 38 countries, and alumni numbering more than 18,000. UHV offers some of the lowest tuition and fees in Texas, in addition to numerous scholarships and financial aid opportunities. More than $35 million in financial aid is awarded to students annually.

Academic Excellence. Every year, UHV and its degree programs are recognized for their excellence and affordability by outside ranking organizations. Here are just a few of UHV’s recent recognitions:

  • The Princeton Review included the School of Business Administration in its list of 2016 Best 295 Business Schools.
  • UHV tied for 12th in the 2017 U.S. News & World Report Best Ethnic Diversity list of regional universities in the West.
  • The School of Arts & Sciences ranked third nationally on the Affordable Schools 2016 list of Top 20 Affordable Online Bachelor’s Degrees in Communications.
  • ranked UHV 18th on its list of most affordable bachelor’s degrees in the nation. • Readers of the Katy Times chose UHV as the Best College in Katy both in 2016 and 2017.
  • Top Education Degrees ranked the UHV School of Education, Health Professions & Human Development’s Master of Education in curriculum and instruction 21st in the nation.

Community Outreach is an integral part of the University. UHV is home to the American Book Review literary journal. Every year, 10 nationally recognized writers give public readings during the UHV/ABR Reading Series. An internationally renowned nonprofit literary publisher, Dalkey Archive Press publishes about 60 books a year with an emphasis on translations from more than 50 countries. At the Small Business Development Center, certified business advisors offer technical business assistance and training for area small businesses and those aspiring to start a business in an 11-county area. The Regional Economic Development Center provides a regional hub for small business resources and promotes community engagement and partnerships to support the educational, economic and cultural development throughout the area. UHV students are encouraged to invest in the community through initiatives such as Alternative Spring Break and Jags Join In: Day of Service.

Accreditation. UHV is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. The university has additional accreditations from the AACSB International (The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business), Texas Education Agency and the Council for Accreditation of Counseling & Related Educational Programs.

Special Designations. The U.S. Department of Education has designated UHV as a Hispanic-Serving Institution. Hispanics make up 39 percent of undergraduate enrollment. Victory Media has designated UHV as a Military Friendly School thanks to the university’s efforts to recruit and support active military personnel and veterans.

Athletics. The UHV Jaguars compete in baseball, softball, soccer, and golf as a member of the Red River Athletic Conference in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) Division I.

Long Range Strategic Plan. In the fall of 2014, UHS Chancellor Renu Khator set for the University of HoustonVictoria a goal of becoming a destination university with an on-campus student population of 6,000 by 2025. The 3 University of Houston-Victoria – President Wheless Partners Executive Search and Leadership Consulting Long Range Strategic Plan (LRSP) 2016-2021 embodies UHV’s ongoing systemic and systematic planning process for meeting this goal as well as for continuing to build its programs and presence in Katy and online.

This Long Range Strategic Plan sets the course for the University of Houston-Victoria (UHV) at a critical time. With its downward expansion in 2010, UHV made the transition from an upper division commuter and online university offering junior, senior, and graduate level programs, to a comprehensive residential university. Full accreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools in 2014 resulted in a Quality Enhancement Plan to support retention and academic outcomes for incoming freshmen students. The 2016-2021 Strategic Plan establishes the planning processes and structures for implementing the UHV Academic Master Plan 2015-2025 and the necessary external and internal structures needed for realizing the Chancellor’s goal of a UHV as a robust destination university.

To access the UHV Long Range Strategic Plan, go to UHV Long Range Strategic Plan.

University of Houston System and Board of Regents

As the region’s largest provider of comprehensive university services, from the baccalaureate to the doctorate, the University of Houston System plays an essential role in meeting the higher education needs of the Houston metropolitan area and Texas. The UH System serves nearly 71,000 students, has an annual budget that exceeds $1.7 billion, and produces a $6 billion-plus economic impact on the Greater Houston area each year.

The UH System includes the University of Houston, UHClear Lake, UH-Downtown and UH-Victoria, and campuses in Katy, Northwest Houston, Pearland and Sugar Land as well as Houston Public Media, home to KUHT-TV8, Houston’s PBS station and the nation’s first educational television station; KUHF-88.7, Houston’s National Public Radio station; and KUHF 88.7 HD-2, Houston’s digital classical music stream.

The University of Houston System Board of Regents is the governing body of the University of Houston System. The Board of Regents is composed of nine regular members (chair, vice chair, secretary, and six members) and a student regent. Every two years, the Governor of the State of Texas, subject to Senate confirmation, appoints three members to the Board of Regents. Each regular member serves a six-year term (the student regent serves a one-year term beginning on June 1 of each year).

Board responsibilities include: preserving institutional independence and defending each UH System component university’s right to manage its own affairs through its chosen administrators and employees; enhancing each university’s public image; interpreting the community to each of the universities and the universities to the community; nurturing each university so that each may achieve its full potential within its role and mission; and providing policy direction, insisting on clarity of focus and mission, to each of the universities.

The Community

Candidates will discover an environment and locale where professional satisfaction and career achievement are paired with optimal quality of life. Located 30 miles inland from the Gulf of Mexico, Victoria is a regional hub for a seven-county area known as the "Golden Crescent", and serves a retail trade area of over 250,000 people. Victoria is known as "The Crossroads" because of its location within a two-hour drive of Corpus Christi, Houston, San Antonio, and Austin.

Here you will discover a sophisticated family-centered community with a healthy mix of education, health, retail, agriculture, and industry, several performing arts and theatre events and venues, multiple museums, the Victoria Symphony Orchestra and Victoria Ballet, and more. In the summer, the Victoria Bach Festival welcomes musicians from across the country to fill theatres, churches, and outdoor spaces with engaging musical performances. The Victoria Art League is home to many local artists and is located in one of the Texas Registered Historical Landmark buildings. Presidio La Bahia - the best-preserved Spanish presidio in the United States - and Mission Espiritu Santo - an early Spanish colonial church and mission - are located a short 30-minute drive from Victoria. Victoria's 562-acre Riverside Park is home to the Texas Zoo, which houses more than 200 species of animals and plants indigenous to Texas, exhibiting them in their natural habitats. Also in Riverside Park on the Guadalupe River is the Victoria Paddling trail. Boating and freshwater fishing are available at two area reservoirs, Lake Texana and Coleto Lake. Residents also take advantage of the nearby Gulf of Mexico for bay, off-shore and wade fishing.

Whether seeking entertainment, recreation, educational, or employment options or simply a safe and comfortable place to live, family members of all ages will find here the elements that contribute to a safe, enjoyable, and fulfilling lifestyle. 

The Role of the President

The President is responsible for providing transformative leadership, focus and strategic vision for UHV in collaboration with the System Chancellor and the Board of Regents. The President will possess an outstanding reputation for executive-level management with documented ability to administer and coordinate all operations and programs, to set achievable objectives, to update the policies of the institution, and to lead and manage change and growth.

  • The President will merit broad-based respect to inspire institutional accountability, efficiency, fiscal responsibility, and the ethical and effective performance of all leaders and divisions in the University. • The President will demonstrate commitment to UHV’s goal to become a robust destination university through responsiveness to student needs, recruitment and hiring of qualified and caring faculty who fit the institutional culture, and development of academic programs that correspond to workforce needs. The President will develop and implement a plan for managed enrollment growth and retention that will optimally shape the university to provide a rich learning environment for all students.
  • The President will be an experienced and successful leader capable of leading the institution to prevail and succeed within a highly competitive environment characterized by a decreasing student population and increased competition for students and resources. The President will be a marketingminded leader with record for successfully advancing a compelling university brand and marketing the programs, opportunities and key attractive elements of the university.
  • The President brings ability to work successfully within a system environment, to interact effectively with the system Board, Chancellor and institutional presidents, and to cultivate a truly integrated university system.
  • The President brings academic experience, understanding and credentials to serve as the academic leader for the University in order to ensure that the University provides a high quality faculty and educational curriculum for the benefit of its students. The President will ensure UHV provides high-quality instruction and learning support in all degree programs, with an emphasis on outreach, collaboration, and responsiveness to the needs of the communities served by the institution. The President will understand the importance of faculty to the University’s current and future success, bringing the skill to position the university to continue its successes in academic program development and national prominence.
  • The President will establish, direct, and maintain excellent community relations. The President will lead the university’s efforts to serve the regional needs for access to information resources and professional expertise and will facilitate collaboration with other educational, entrepreneurial, governmental, and non-profit entities in promoting the educational, economic, and cultural development of the region.
  • The President will demonstrate a commitment to the concept of a student-centered institution, with a strong student orientation and a dedication to nurturing students in a manner that helps them develop holistically and prepares them to be productive and engaged global citizens.
  • The President will be highly engaged in efforts to cultivate a college town atmosphere at UHV by enhancing the learning environment through a focus on student life, student services, and athletics, with a full array of student services and activities, renovating and upgrading facilities to support them, developing attractive residential facilities, and providing an appealing, well-maintained campus in order to recruit and retain new students.
  • The President will be culturally intelligent and will foster and show commitment to understanding the people, place, and culture of the University as a Hispanic-Serving Institution and will seek to access available funding to serve this fast-growing population. The President will promote diversity and inclusion in student recruitment and enrollment efforts, and will work to optimally shape the size and characteristics of the student body to ensure diversity and reflect the needs of the leaders of tomorrow, with an emphasis on first generation and underrepresented populations, student access and success, as well as diverse student participation through athletics, student organizations, and academic success initiatives. The President will encourage cultural diversity throughout the institution’s curriculum, activities and community involvement.
  • The President brings a growth-minded perspective to continue UHV’s expansion as a multifaceted institution, serving students in multiple locations, offering face-to-face, online, and hybrid courses. The President will strategize to foster growth in student enrollment, student retention rates, academic programs, and elevation of the academic success of students. Specific experience in expanding degree offerings in the STEM fields (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) is desirable.
  • The President will establish and advance a culture of continuous improvement and greater accountability through ongoing assessment of academic and non-academic units. The President will value academic quality and understand the balances required to achieve growth while maintaining a high level of quality in resources for the student population, in compliance, infrastructure, human resources/faculty and staff support, ensuring the appropriate utilization of faculty, staff and resources to render excellence in teaching as well as academic outcomes.
  • The President understands, supports and advances the principles of shared governance.
  • The President brings the relational and communication skills to constructively engage the Board of Regents with mutual respect, to understand their strategies and timeline expectations, and to respond to and communicate those expectations in a transparent and clear way.
  • The President will ensure the efficient and accountable stewardship of fiscal, human, and physical resources in the University’s efforts to meet educational needs, to comply with oversight authorities, and to maintain public trust. The President brings clear indication of the financial sophistication required to manage a financially complex institution, ensuring proper administration of the financial affairs of the University including the accounting, financial oversight and financial report preparation functions required.
  • The President will bring the skill sets and experience to ensure that public support of the institution is complemented with private support; to provide accurate and timely information to institutional constituencies; expand the donor base; enhance positive visibility within the region; and build a strong alumni community. Proven skill and experience to increase the number and amount of externally funded grants is desired.
  • The President brings skills/experience to advance and expand upon virtual/online and distance learning opportunities, to ensure leading edge technology and excellence in instruction, curriculum, consistency, and follow-up with online students, and growing online graduate study offerings.
  • The President brings skills/experience to advance and expand upon existing graduate programs.
  • The President will ensure UHV maintains full accreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS), that the university seeks other disciplinary accreditations that will bring added quality to the institution’s programs.
  • The President will have the executive presence to be viewed as a credible state leader, have an understanding of the governmental process, and possess the skills to ensure that legislative goals for UHV on the state and federal levels are identified and met.
  • The President will possess both expertise in higher education and the business acumen to oversee and orchestrate a large complex enterprise, along with understanding of how business supports higher education. The President will have a proven ability to develop, advance and fortify alliances with business, industry, government, academia and community groups.
  • The President will demonstrate a terminal professional degree or earned doctorate, along with an appropriate blend of experiences including demonstrated record of executive/academic leadership at the highest levels.

Presidential Attributes

  • A passionate advocate for higher education, knowledgeable about key issues affecting public universities, including enrollment and retention strategies and innovations in education. An advocate of education for the whole person.
  • An astute listener who makes it a priority to know the faculty, staff, students, and needs of the students and institution.
  • An inspiring communicator with the skill and intuition necessary to hear, understand, and unify multiple perspectives on the complex issues facing students, campuses, and public higher education and to help advance the university’s mission now and into the future.
  • Disciplined and focused. Confident and patient. • A motivator who leads by inspiring commitment to the institution and its objectives.
  • Unifier. A solidifier with a steady hand to lead the institution on a solid path while building consensus. • A collaborative leader and team player who can bring together varied constituencies for a common vision and purpose, and promote a campus environment of open and honest communication, shared governance and decision-making.
  • Comfortable within a small rural community environment. People oriented. Presidential yet approachable. An engaging and visible presence on campus and in the community; approachable by students, faculty, staff, alumni, parents, the local community, and other friends of the university to build personal relationships and to deepen connections to the institution.
  • An individual energized by challenge. Action oriented.
  • Humble, service oriented, goes above and beyond the call.
  • Truthful. Wise. An individual with the highest personal integrity, ethics, and an executive presence demonstrating a strong moral compass with kindness, humility, and a sense of humor.
  • Industrious and resourceful, with an understanding of where resources exist and how to access and leverage them.
  • A change agent and experienced manager of change. Adaptable and flexible.
  • Professional maturity with history of overcoming challenges.
  • Ambassadorial presence to effective represent UHV externally.
  • Willing to take responsibility for unsuccessful decisions or actions
  • Willingness to foster creativity, innovation, and failure as a part of growth.
  • Not a micromanager. Works at a high strategic level and engenders trust in those leaders surrounding him to perform with excellence and accountability.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills, executive level communication skills (written and verbal), along with outstanding presentation skills.
  • A passionate champion for fundraising with the ability to build deep and lasting relationships with donors and the philanthropic community, articulating the case for supporting UHV with enthusiasm.
  • Demonstrates mutual respect for diverse cultures and inclusivity and a commitment to a diverse faculty, staff, and student population. 

Key Attractors

  • This is a career-defining opportunity to serve as President and Chief Executive Officer for a financially sound, forward-thinking, nationally prominent higher education institution and to help position the University for even greater levels of achievement and innovation.
  • Make your mark and build a legacy of success in an important and respected leadership role as the chief executive of an institution with massive upside potential, viewed as a vital element of the University of Houston System. As President of the institution and a high profile leader in the community, take your place among a select, influential group of executives that lead public higher education in the state of Texas.
  • Grasp the opportunity to lead a distinctive Hispanic-Serving University on the pathway to becoming a destination university through responsiveness to student needs, recruitment of qualified and caring faculty, and development of academic programs that correspond to workforce needs. Enjoy a blank slate opportunity to develop and implement a plan for managed enrollment growth and retention that will optimally shape the university to provide a rich learning environment for all students. • Here faculty is strong, collegial and cooperative, faculty members are personally invested in the institution and community, know their students by name, and create an intimate environment where they can have a definitive positive impact on the lives of students.
  • Here the institutional culture is warm, welcoming, entrepreneurial, and creative. Enjoy a caring community, a renowned public university, excellent healthcare, education, amenities and entertainment options that reflect the values of a family-focused community. This is a community that celebrates tradition while looking to the future. Family members of all ages will find here the elements that contribute to a safe and enjoyable lifestyle.

Should you wish to participate in the search as a candidate, please submit a letter of interest and Curriculum vitae to:

For more information or to discuss this position, contact:
Mike J.R. Wheless, Managing Partner
Scott Watson, Senior Partner
Florene Stawowy, Senior Search Consultant: 941-240-8847