December 6, 2016
Juan Muñoz was named Tuesday (Dec. 6) as the sole finalist for the presidency of the University of Houston-Downtown, part of the University of Houston System.
Muñoz has served as the senior vice president for institutional diversity, equity and community engagement since 2009 and later was named vice provost for undergraduate education in 2010 and vice provost for student affairs in 2011. He has played a critical role in Texas Tech's expansion in both undergraduate and minority enrollment.
"I am extremely grateful to Texas Tech for the many opportunities it has provided me and my family," Muñoz said. "From the beginning, my career at Texas Tech has been defined by the university's commitment to excellence and its belief that, 'From Here, It's Possible.' That belief has most certainly made this opportunity possible for me."
Muñoz is expected to begin as president at UHD in April. The UH System Board of Regents will meet Feb. 23 to formalize the appointment. He takes over for interim president Michael Olivas.
Opened in 1974, University of Houston-Downtown serves more than 14,000 students and offers bachelor's and master's degrees in five colleges – business, humanities and social sciences, public service, sciences and technology, and university college.
As senior vice president and vice provost at Texas Tech, Muñoz oversaw more than 40 units and departments, including the Texas Tech University Ethics Center, the Teaching, Learning and Professional Development Center and the Office of Academic Engagement. He also serves on numerous councils at Texas Tech and is a founding member of the National Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education, serving on its executive board as treasurer.
"Under Dr. Muñoz's leadership, Texas Tech has made significant progress in areas of diversity, student success and community engagement," Texas Tech President Lawrence Schovanec said. "Texas Tech is a better institution because of his contributions. He has been a wonderful colleague and a dear friend and I will miss working with him. Juan is most deserving of this wonderful opportunity, and I am happy for him."
Muñoz joined the Texas Tech faculty in 2004 as an associate professor in the College of Education and as a special assistant to the president. He served as coordinator for the Bilingual Education and Diversity Studies program and helped found the college's Center for Research on Leadership and Education. He joined the provost's office in 2006, eventually being named senior vice president and vice provost.
Muñoz earned his bachelor's degree from the University of California-Santa Barbara and, after a two-year stint in the U.S. Marine Corps, earned his master's degree from California State University-Los Angeles. He earned his doctorate from UCLA after spending time as a secondary school teacher, as an instructor in the California Community College system and as an adjunct faculty member at Pacific Oakes and Whittier Colleges.