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UHD President Names Brian Chapman as Provost and Senior Vice President

Tuesday, January 25, 2011 / UHD Public Affairs

Brian R. Chapman

Houston --University of Houston Downtown President Bill Flores today (Jan. 25) announced the appointment of Brian R. Chapman as provost and senior vice president.

Flores selected Chapman from among four finalists. His appointment, effective March 1, is subject to ratification by the University of Houston System Board of Regents and will be considered at the Board's Feb. 16 meeting in Houston.

"We are excited by the leadership, energy and experience Dr. Chapman brings to UHD," Flores said. "He is an excellent fit with our needs and I know he will provide proven academic leadership for the institution."

Chapman, a professor of biology at the University of North Carolina Wilmington, has more than 30 years of experience in higher education.

"My wife, Sandra, and I are delighted to be returning to Texas and look forward to working with UHD faculty, staff and students," he said as he reflected on his appointment as the University's chief academic officer. "Together we can address the challenges and opportunities that will move UHD to the next level as a premier city university."

Chapman served as provost and vice president for academic affairs at West Texas A&M University from 2005 to 2008, stepping in as acting president from January to May 2006. He served as dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Sam Houston State University from 2000 to 2005. He has also worked at the University of Georgia, the University of Oklahoma and Texas A&M Corpus Christi.

Chapman, whose research interests include vertebrate ecology and management of endangered species with emphasis on birds, bats and rare or protected species, will replace Michael Dressman who has served as interim provost and vice president since Molly Woods stepped down in July. Flores said that he and Dressman will work with Chapman to ensure a smooth transition.

UHD College of Business Dean Don Bates and UHD Faculty Senate President Philip Lyons co-chaired the search committee.

"It is rare that the search committee, the faculty, the faculty senate executive committee and the president all agree on the top person in the pool, but that is what happened in this search," Bates said. "We look forward to having him here."

Lyons said, "I welcome Dr. Chapman to UHD on behalf of the faculty.His accomplishments in improving student success and retention, promoting teaching excellence and developing support for research and scholarship align well with UHD's goals and aspirations. I anticipate that the UHD faculty and Dr. Chapman will work together closely through the principles of shared governance to position UHD as Houston's premier undergraduate university."

Chapman earned his Ph.D. and master's degree in zoology from Texas Tech University. He completed his bachelor's degree in biology at Texas A&M University-Kingsville.

UHD is the second largest university in Houston and the 13th largest four-year, public university in Texas. UHD ranks 34th nationally for graduating Hispanic students with bachelor's degrees and 47th nationally for graduating African American students with bachelor's degrees.

Chapman has two adult daughters, Lisa Delao and Paige Najvar, and four grandchildren who live in Austin.His brother, Carl Chapman, and sister, Adelene Pless, live in Houston.

Mrs. Chapman's parents, Mr. and Mrs. Paul Spencer, and her brother, Jimmy Spencer, reside in Corpus Christi. Her brother, Ron Spencer, lives in Austin and her brother, Steven Spencer, lives in Houston.

For more information, contact Sue Davis, Executive Director of Public Affairs, UHD, at 713-221-8636 or email

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