UH-Downtown's Max Castillo, We Hardly Blew Ye
That was some send-off the Chronicle gave over the weekend to Max Castillo, outgoing president of UH-Downtown. It was the kind of glowing profile some cynical journalists call a "blow job."
In it we learned that Castillo:
a) is "a bilingual Hispanic, at a time when 85 percent of college presidents are white -- [and therefore] doesn't fit the mold"
b) That, somehow, we're supposed to believe the president of UH-D is a celebrity, yet Castillo remains down-to-earth: "It is less glamorous than you might imagine. Sure, there has been the occasional gala honoring Castillo for his efforts. And his small, ninth-floor office boasts a view of the downtown skyline. But there is no wall of fame, filled with photos of himself and the city's elite. No fancy furniture."
c) That he's a personofication of the American Dream: "A native of the West Texas border town of Presidio, he was a student at St. Mary's University in San Antonio, the first in his family to attend college, when a summer job led him to drop plans for law school in favor of teaching and a $5,000 paycheck. In the classroom, he discovered his calling: helping first-generation, low-income students who traditionally left school before college."
d) Finally, the faculty of UH-D just loooves him: "Faculty members credit Castillo with lifting the school from a niche institution offering a handful of bachelor's degrees to a full-spectrum university with several master's programs."
There was a brief mention of Castillo's "controversial" move to rename UH-Downtown, but that, we were told, "will be left for the next president to pursue."
You might not realize it, but there are some UH-D faculty members who are not quite convinced Castillo walks on water. They say he's bungled the whole name-change thing and is far too eager to kowtow to the central-campus authorities, especially new UH president Renu Khator.
Or that's what we hear, at least. It's nothing you'd see in the Chronicle or anything.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you’ll never miss Houston Press' biggest stories.
- Game Control: Just How Overwhelmed Have The 2015 Houston Texans Been?
- Report: Antiabortion Law Leads to Longer Wait Times at Clinics
- Harden 2.0: How James Harden Became Houston’s Biggest Crossover Sports Celebrity