Farewell Gators

Dear Gator Family,

I knew UHD was a special institution and one that was on the move when I arrived on campus more than three years ago. On the same day that I was confirmed as President of the University of Houston-Downtown, it received the largest gift in its history (a $10 million gift to name the Marilyn Davies College of Business). That was indeed quite the welcome to UHD and a sign of the magnificent achievements that were on the horizon.

Many milestones have been reached since then. Working together, we achieved the largest enrollment in school history, the highest graduation rate, and record retention rates. UHD added a number of new programs including those in Data Science, Nursing and recently advanced proposals in Artificial Intelligence, among others. UHD has dramatically enhanced our partnerships with area school districts and community colleges and has provided leadership to the Houston Guided Pathways for Success collaborative. We opened a new College of Sciences & Technology Building and after more than 30 years, secured legislative approval for campus growth with the forthcoming Student Wellness & Success Center. I also am proud of UHD’s fundraising efforts and overall contribution to the UH System’s Here, We Go Campaign—exceeding our $25 million goal with nearly $32 million raised. Additionally, new campus signage, murals and a digital board further illustrate UHD’s importance to the city and region. Those are just some of the achievements made possible through our collective efforts, focus and determination.

I am immensely proud of what we have accomplished together and know that the Gator Community will continue to take UHD to even greater degrees of achievement and distinction.

Soon, I will be departing UHD. As you are aware, I have accepted the position of Chancellor at the University of California Merced. This was no easy decision. Houston opened its arms and welcomed my family and I, and we will miss this magnificent community and this university.

Most of all, I will miss all of you. The Gators who greeted me when I first arrived at UHD are those who are working hard to grow this institution and ensure that it continues to serve future generations of Houstonians. You are the heart of UHD, and although I am soon departing, you will remain to continue the great work that’s been ongoing since … and long before … my arrival.

I wish everyone here all the best and look forward to watching UHD continue to soar as a university of choice for the students of this region.

Sincerely,

Dr. Juan Sánchez Muñoz
UHD President