Dean's Update - University of Houston
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Dean's Update

Jan. 15, 2019

Message from the Dean

I hope you all enjoyed the break and are ready for another strong start to a new semester. As you know, we will continue to focus on President Khator’s “50 in 5” initiative to increase research productivity. I’d also like to share three items we as a College will be discussing with the goal of coming to a conclusion this year:

*Consider a possible reorganization of the College: The FEC will lead continued discussions around the teacher education program, including whether to create a new department or implement other changes.

*Consider the possibility of renaming the College: The idea of renaming the College of Education to reflect our broader scope emerged during the strategic planning process several years ago. The communications committee is currently conducting research and will work with the FEC and Staff Council to solicit ideas and feedback.

*Explore the idea of creating a professional development school: Interested faculty can help prepare a white paper on the benefits, challenges and feasibility of creating a professional development school that would help prepare our university students while serving K-12 students.

I look forward to your feedback on these issues in coming months.

Also of note: U.S. New & World Report released today that our online graduate education programs are ranked No. 19 in the nation. The drop from No. 5 appears to be due in part to our increased faculty-student ratio and changes in student selectivity. We’ll be delving into the data more and working with FEC to ensure we continue to deliver a high-quality program.

Finally, join me in officially welcoming interim department chairs Margaret Hale (Curriculum & Instruction) and Nathan Smith (Psychological, Health & Learning Sciences) into their new roles.


Editor’s note: Prior newsletters are archived on the College website.


  • MLK holiday – Monday, Jan. 21
  • Spring 2019 Commencement – Thursday, May 9. Fertitta Center.


Editor’s note: Faculty and staff are encouraged to share announcements or accomplishments with their department chairs or supervisors for possible inclusion in Dean’s Update.

Curriculum & Instruction


  • Candidates for the tenure-track literacy education position are scheduled for interviews on Jan. 24 and Jan. 31. Stay tuned for more information on attending the colloquia.
  • The math and bilingual education programs are continuing their faculty search efforts.


  • Vera Hutchison, Haley Ford and Cam White presented this month at the Hawaii International Conference on Education.

Educational Leadership & Policy Studies


  • Tune in to 88.7 FM tomorrow, Jan. 16, to hear Cathy Horn and Lyle McKinney talk about higher education on “Houston Matters.” Show airs at noon and 7 p.m.

Psychological, Health & Learning Sciences


  • Jon Schwartz published an op-ed in the Houston Chronicle about talking to young men about sexual assault.
  • Please enjoy this story about Sarah Mire, the College's 2018 Research Excellence Award winner.


Brandii RoquemoreGet to know finance assistant Brandii Roquemore, the first face you see when entering the finance side of the dean’s office.

Q: What do you love most about your job?

A: I get to learn new things every day. My managers are very nice and open to letting me learn these new things so I won’t have a repetitive day each day.

Q: How would you describe your family?

A: I’d say I grew up in a pretty normal household. My parents pushed me really hard while I was in school, and it paid off. I’m the first in my family to graduate from college, and I really appreciate my parents for their support.      

Q: How do enjoy your free time?

A: I normally listen to R&B and hip-hop, go shopping or hang out with my family.

Read the full Q&A.



  • New photo release form: Please have your students sign photo release forms at the start of the semester if you plan to post photos of them. Note that UH has a new form that covers a six-month time period for photos tied to a specific course, program or project. The new form is on the COE intranet under “Communications." Return signed forms, with your name, date and course, to Kathy Patnaude in Farish 438.
  • Student voices: Know a student with a compelling story or recent accomplishment? How about an outgoing student to star in a video advertising COE? Send names and info to Ericka Mellon at
  • Student scholarships: Please encourage students to apply for COE scholarships. The application opens Feb. 1, and the deadline is Feb. 28. Faculty and advisors should have received slides and a flyer via email to share.


  • Reminder: Supervisors must complete ePerformance documents by Feb. 5 and meet with employees before then. For 2019, employees must enter goals by this Feb. 21.

Faculty Executive Committee

  • We would like to welcome everyone back from winter break! This semester FEC will work on revising the constitution, including adding a bylaws document along with addressing the restructuring concerns we started reviewing last academic year.

Staff Council

  • It’s not too late to help Covenant House Texas. Please bring donations to Farish 160 through Jan. 31. Requested items include new clothing, gift cards, toiletries and cleaning supplies.


The library

  • The Alternative Textbook Incentive Program grants awards to faculty who replace traditional textbooks with open educational resources. Sign up to be notified when applications open, and learn more here.
  • Faculty may request custom 3D printed objects through the library for use with University-related programs or functions. Objects may be selected from a catalog or custom designed by library staff.

Center for Diversity & Inclusion

  • Consider attending the Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemorative Celebration on Thursday, Jan. 24 at 4 p.m. in Student Center Theater. The event will feature poet, activist and educator Nikki Giovanni, who will speak on the theme “The Power of Words: Your Voice Matters.”

Dean’s Update typically publishes on the second Tuesday of each month.


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