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Hinds led VC through major challenges during five-year tenure

Dr. David Hinds saw Victoria College overcome Hurricane Harvey in 2017 and led VC’s efforts to adjust instructional strategies and student support services during the outbreak of COVID-19.

Dr. David Hinds’ five-year tenure as president of Victoria College was not without its unexpected challenges.

Hinds will leave Victoria College after leading the school through the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey and the challenges brought by the COVID-19 pandemic. Hinds was instrumental in implementing measures to ensure VC’s student retention rate remained high after the two major challenges.

“Even through a hurricane and now a pandemic, VC remains one of the very best colleges to study and work at in the country,” said Hinds, who announced his retirement in the fall of 2019 and will hand over the position to Jennifer Kent on Aug. 1. “I am so proud of what we have accomplished together as a college over the past five years.”

During Hinds’ tenure, Victoria College developed and implemented a 2015-20 Strategic Plan highlighting student success, community needs and institutional excellence. He was also instrumental in developing a 2016-25 Facilities Master Plan aimed at ensuring Victoria College’s facilities serve the next generation of students.

“Thanks to the generosity of donors, we are well on our way to begin construction of the Comprehensive Student Center,” Hinds said. “Projects have begun to address VC’s Facilities Master Plan, and there are more to come over the near horizon, including renovations of the William Wood Building, Museum of the Coastal Bend and Leo J. Welder Center for the Performing Arts.”

Hinds was instrumental in strengthening partnerships with Victoria ISD and surrounding area school districts, the University of Houston-Victoria, and business and industry throughout the Crossroads region. Under his leadership, Victoria College joined 47 other community colleges in Texas to embrace the Pathways Framework that focuses on guiding students efficiently through their academic and career goals.

“I am very proud of our Pathways success,” Hinds said. “Because of efforts like Pathways, Victoria College has the highest six-year completion rate among the 20 Texas community colleges in the mid-sized college cohort.”

Hinds helped Victoria College athletics advance to the next level by becoming a member of the National Junior College Athletic Association in 2019. Under Hinds’ leadership, VC has been recognized nationally three straight years as one of the country’s “Great Colleges to Work For.”

“You can feel that Victoria College is a special place to work when you interact with our employees,” Hinds said. “The culture of respect and appreciation here among and between one another spills over in terms of how students experience the college.”

Hinds’ higher education journey began at Midland College after an anonymous person awarded him a $500 scholarship. He then went on to Texas State University, where he obtained a Bachelor of Science degree. He earned his Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Houston and his doctorate in higher education administration from The University of Texas at Austin.

“I am a living example of how a person’s life can change at a community college,” Hinds said. “Over the last five years, I have seen Victoria College change peoples’ lives and make our community much stronger for it. Victoria College has been, is, and will continue to be a special place to work, learn and grow.”

Bland Proctor, chairman of Victoria College’s Board of Trustees, said VC was fortunate to have Hinds at the helm of the college for the past five years.

“Dr. Hinds has fostered impactful connections with both students and faculty, and he has elevated the college’s presence and partnership with the local community,” Proctor said. “Through it all, his main focus was on the students and their achieving their goals. It has been an honor to work with Dr. Hinds. I know all of the trustees join me in wishing him all of the best in his future endeavors.”

Hinds said he plans on spending some time traveling before resuming his career in education.

“I am retiring from the Teacher’s Retirement System in Texas, and I am lucky enough to be able to take some time off this fall to explore in the camper with my wife, Kim,” Hinds said. “Then it will be back to work. I hope to continue to serve students in my next position.”

The community is invited to take part in a farewell parade for Hinds at 4:15 p.m. on Thursday, July 30. The parade will start at Entrance 9 of VC’s Main Campus.