Program in Maritime Transportation Management and Security Texas Southern University is partnering with the Port of Houston Authority (PHA) on a new degree program in Maritime Transportation Management and Security. This program will address three highly prioritized national transportation needs: logistics, security and environment.

This is the first such university degree program related to Maritime Transportation and Security in Houston and the first such program at any Historically Black College and University (HBCU) in the country.

Preparing graduates in this proposed degree program is not only important to the regional economy but also significant to meeting the workforce needs of the Port of Houston as well as the maritime industry.

PHA has committed $2 million to the program over a two-year period. As outlined in a Memorandum of Understanding, the funds will be primarily allocated to develop, promote, recruit and graduate students from the Maritime Transportation Management and Security Program at Texas Southern University.

“We are extremely excited about our new Maritime Transportation Management and Security degree program and grateful to the Port of Houston Authority for its commitment to supporting this important initiative,” says Dr. John Rudley, TSU President. “This partnership is a perfect realization of Texas Southern’s commitment to providing our students with cutting-edge, relevant academic programs that speak to the real needs of today’s and tomorrow’s job markets.”

PHA Chairman James T. Edmonds, whose organization has a long history of education involvement through the granting of scholarships and an extensive college intern program, calls the new partnership “timely, strategic and mutually beneficial.”

“Recently, there has been a global call for an infusion of prepared workforce into the maritime industry,” Edmonds says. “This partnership integrates the resources of two dynamic Houston institutions committed to advancing education, commerce and improving quality of life. The success of this program will reap benefits that will be felt locally, nationally and around the world.”

The new program allows the university to partner with the vital public component of the Port of Houston, one of the region’s main employers, while creating a program that will not only positively impact Texas Southern students, but also expose area high school students to maritime employment opportunities. It’s initiatives like this—the Maritime Transportation Management and Security program—that illustrate Texas Southern’s move towards becoming one of the nation’s leading, urban-serving educational institutions, TSU officials say.

“Recent studies have pointed to the challenge to continue to grow a well-prepared, diverse workforce to serve the maritime industry,” says PHA Commissioner Kase Lawal. “Our partnership announced today is an important step by the port authority and TSU to work together to develop an innovative academic program and research efforts to address this challenge. Aside from developing a strong academic program, we are excited about the opportunity to produce major transportation-related research projects, which will complement the university’s newly established National Transportation Security Center of Excellence for Petrochemicals.”

Herbert H. Richardson, director emeritus and distinguished professor of engineering, Texas A&M University, says, “This program is important to the maritime industry as it faces challenges of productivity, security and environmental impact in the decades ahead. Although the economy is down at present, it is certain to recover, producing unprecedented demands on Texas’ ports and related marine industries. These demands require workers with new skills and capabilities that are in short supply in the existing workforce.”

These programs will be significant steps toward giving better access to maritime careers, by tying into TSU’s and PHA’s existing partnerships with area high schools, including a high school maritime academy program that