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Friday, May 26, 2017

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Finalist chosen for University of Houston – Downtown president role


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Juan Sanchez Muñoz is the sole finalist for the position of president at University of Houston-Downtown. | Courtesy of University of Houston-Downtown

A new president for the University of Houston-Downtown is almost here. Following a national search, a search committee named Juan Sanchez Muñoz as the sole finalist for the position.

The UH System Board of Regents will vote to confirm his appointment at its next meeting on Feb. 23, 2017. If approved, Muñoz is expected to join UHD in April 2017.

“I am very grateful to the Board of Regents and Chancellor Khator for this remarkable opportunity to be part of this dynamic institution and system to further set a standard of educational excellence that will serve as a model for the country,” Muñoz said in a news release.

At Texas Tech University, Muñoz is vice provost for undergraduate education and student affairs as well as senior vice president for institutional diversity, equity, and community engagement.

He has been at Texas Tech since 2004, when he joined the university as an associate professor in the College of Education.

Before pursuing a career in higher education, Muñoz served as a sergeant in the U.S. Marine Corps and taught at the secondary level.

“University of Houston-Downtown plays a vital role in our UH System’s overall delivery of higher education resources to this region, so we are fortunate to have an experienced educator and inspiring administrator of Dr. Muñoz’s caliber lead this institution,” said UH System Chancellor and President Renu Khator in a news release.

University of Houston – Clear Lake’s President William Staples led a search committee that worked to fill the position in which UHD Interim President Michael Olivas is holding.

“I have had the good fortune of serving as UHD’s interim president and have learned first-hand that this is a very special university,” Olivas said in a news release. “I have come to love this institution, especially its remarkable students, as he will. I look forward to his arrival and all of us will support him during this transition.”

On Monday night, Olivas released a statement to the UHD community regarding Muñoz’s appointment.

“Selecting a new university leader is no easy task … and identifying UHD’s new president was no exception,” Olivas said. “With that in mind, the UHD community should know that they are getting a president who is not only accomplished but one who truly understands the mission of this institution.”

According to the release, more than 14,000 students across five colleges are enrolled at UHD, taking courses in undergraduate and graduate programs.

“I had the pleasure of sitting down with him during his campus visit,” Olivas said. “I told him we’re no longer the best-kept secret in Houston, but he already knew that.”

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