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Tuesday, November 20, 2018

UH System

UH-V president resigns after no confidence vote


After serving as the eighth president of UH-Victoria for three years, Philip Castille resigned on Tuesday, effective immediately, due to the institution’s Faculty Senate vote of no confidence in his leadership, as reported by the Victoria Advocate.

Castille will rejoin the faculty as a tenured professor in UH-Victoria’s School of Arts and Sciences. In August, his annual salary of $300,000 will revert to $100,000.

In an email to faculty members last weekend, Castille called the vote “disappointing” and said voters represented a small percentage of the campus’ faculty. The Texas Tribune said Castille traced their concerns to changes planned by the UH System that may have been perceived by some to be threatening to the UH-V campus. Currently, UH-V offers many courses through the Sugar Land campus, where it generates a significant portion of its revenue.

“I understand the Faculty Senate’s frustration,” Castille said in his letter to the faculty preceding his resignation. “They have many unanswered questions about the UH-Sugar Land transition, and there are many details to work out.”

At the last Board of Regents meeting, President and Chancellor Renu Khator announced the Sugar Land Task Force’s recommendation that UH become the sole university offering classes at the Sugar Land campus and that the existing nursing courses from UH-Victoria be relocated to UH’s newly created Health Science Center.

“The Board of Regents faces a tremendous responsibility in overseeing the progress and welfare of the entire UH System,” Khator said on the UH System website. “I believe their recent decisions reflect the wisdom and dedication they bring to that task.”

Khator has appointed Wayne Beran, the vice president for administration at UH-Victoria, as acting president. According to a UH press release, Khator plans to appoint an interim president and begin a search for a new president within the next two to three weeks. The new UH-V president will be determined by a joint effort of the Board of Regents, the chancellor and the search committee.

“Among the anticipated characteristics is a proven leader who can advance UH-V’s mission as a dynamic destination university in the Coastal Bend region of Texas that serves the educational needs, promotes the economic well-being and advances the quality of life for the University and community through teaching, research and service excellence,” said Richard Bonnin, executive director of media relations at UH.

Upon his arrival as president in 2011, Castille took up one of UH-V’s biggest challenges — expanding from an upper-division commuter university offering junior, senior and graduate courses into a full-fledged residential university admitting freshmen and sophomores. This ambitious process is often referred to as “downward expansion.”

Among the achievements of Castille’s first year as president was the creation of the “UH-V Guarantee,” a financial aid opportunity for qualifying underclassmen. Student recruitment was a focal point of his presidency, leading to rapid gains in freshman and sophomore enrollments and the opening of a second residence hall in Fall 2012.

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