Hernández was selected to be the first participant in the University of Houston Presidential Fellows Program, which grooms diverse faculty for leadership opportunities in higher ed.
“I’m very excited,” Hernandez said. “It’s an opportunity to see how we deal with the legislature, the business community or funding. When you see issues come up, you realize it’s part of a really big system, and you realize it’s a very complex system that sets up the final product.”
Hernández will spend twelve months in the office of UH President Renu Khator accompanying her to various meetings and events throughout the community.
Interested tenured faculty apply for the program and are selected by the president and provost. While immersed in these activities, participants will not teach during the spring semester, returning to those duties only during the second half of the year. Participants may also apply to participate through the summer months.
During the second half of the program, participants will have opportunities to meet with administrators to develop new university programs. Hernández will provide input for a program for new students who need extra support in their beginning college careers.
“There’s going to be a group of students that will be put together and given particular type of services or maybe dorm area where they’ll all live together or courses where they’ll all be together to see if that will make a difference in the graduation rates.”
The teacher becomes the student.
“The way I look at it, if I learn this other level of how things are working, it’s just learning how another system functions and how power and authority work their way through the system to create results that you and I see every day in our jobs.”
The Presidential Fellows Program is part of what’s happening at the University of Houston. I’m Marisa Ramirez.
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