President Pickering jump?
During the last month of May it appeared that every one
at UH was jumping ship.
Within a week of one another six top University of Houston
officials gave up their job titles. UH System Chancellor Alexander
Schilt, UH President James Pickering, UH-Victoria President Lesta
Van Der Wert Turchen, UH Senior Vice President and Provost Henry
Trueba, UH Senior Vice President of Administrative Finance Dennis
Boyd and UH Associate Vice President for Research M. Thomas
Jones, all tendered their
the same day - Aug.
After 14 years
of service to UH,
his resignation in a letter to Alexander Schilt,
the UH System chancellor, May 17.
"If the University of Houston is to
continue its quest for
excellence, there must
be significant changes
in the campus/system
said he had planned to
step down from the UH
presidency on Dec. 31,
1995. However, since
a solution to the campus/system conflict seems to be much farther
off than the end of the year, Pickering said he has decided to resign
at the end of the summer term.
Following suit and due to continuing rumors that he might
be fired by the UH System Board of Regents, UH System Chancellor
Alexander Schilt announced his resignation on May 26, 1995.
In his letter of resignation, Schilt, who had been chancellor
since 1989, indicated he was stepping down to "make way for the
beginning of a major transition for the University of Houston
"The recent organizational review recommends that the
Board of Regents set in motion the necessary changes for our system
and its components to work more efficiently - an agenda that must
be implemented by a chancellor who can devote seven or eight years
to bring these long-range goals to fruitation," Schilt said.
UH Board of Regents Chair Wilhelmina Morian issued a
statement expressing her regret regarding Schilt's resignation.
"Dr. Schilt's resignation is the latest in a series (of resigna
tions) that began on May 19 with that of UH President James H.
Pickering," said Morian. "My fellow regents and I fully appreciate
that so many simultaneous vacancies in the executive leadership
may occasion anxiety about the present, as well as the future, of
the UH System. I ask the community, both inside and outside the
UH System, to be involved, but not anxious, during this period of
UH Senior Vice President and Provost Henry Trueba
resigned UH after
serving UH less than
he was resigning to
allow anew UH president to select his or
her own chief academic officer.
In his letter
of resignation - addressed to Pickering
- Trueba said, "During the short period
that I have served
under your leadership, I have come to
appreciate your efforts and the difficulties involved in leading this wonderful
institution closer to
said, "Henry (Trueba) and I acted with the same goals in mind,
which included moving the university ahead and providing a
quality education and academic environment for the students. He
brought to his position at UH the strong academic focus that all
great universities must have."
"Provost Trueba will be missed here at UH not for what he
was, but for what he could have been. Never before in my three-
year university student career was there so much hope and
excitement for minority students and their issues. Trueba was just
simply an administrator to whom minority students could relate,"
said Senior Rusell Contreras.
These resignations leaves the Board of Regents with
many decisions to make. They must decide the path that University of Houston will take into the 20th century, but as always the
most important decisions are made by those who are effected the
least. It is the students who will undoubtably be made to suffer
through this ordeal.