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University of St. Thomas Campus Developments


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University of St. Thomas Sets Stage for Major ‘Renewal’

https://news.stthom.edu/university-of-st-thomas-sets-stage-for-major-renewal/

 

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Although the University is fortunate to have a nine-figure endowment, significant real estate holdings in the Montrose neighborhood, and a growing student population, it is operating on an outdated business model.

 

Private Houston university plans to restructure business model

https://www.bizjournals.com/houston/news/2019/08/13/private-houston-university-plans-to-restructure.html

 

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By 2023, the university will have facilities and infrastructure that foster and support campus engagement based on a master plan that addresses its facility needs in the light of enrollment goals, anticipated student life needs, changing learning technologies and the desire to cultivate a culture of encounter across the university community. 

 

By 2023, the university will have facilities and infrastructure that meet our evolving needs for learning and research at or above levels exceeding that of its peer institutions. 

 

 

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1 hour ago, ekdrm2d1 said:

University of St. Thomas Sets Stage for Major ‘Renewal’

https://news.stthom.edu/university-of-st-thomas-sets-stage-for-major-renewal/

 

 

Private Houston university plans to restructure business model

https://www.bizjournals.com/houston/news/2019/08/13/private-houston-university-plans-to-restructure.html

 

 

 

From Google's cache, for those that don't have an HBJ subscription:

 

Private Houston university plans to restructure business model

 

Reducing the number of tenured faculty doesn't sound too great. And I have to wonder why they would pursue expansion into Conroe if they've been running a budget deficit for the past several years. Hopefully they're able to get back to financial stability. 

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11 hours ago, mkultra25 said:

 

From Google's cache, for those that don't have an HBJ subscription:

 

Private Houston university plans to restructure business model

 

Reducing the number of tenured faculty doesn't sound too great. And I have to wonder why they would pursue expansion into Conroe if they've been running a budget deficit for the past several years. Hopefully they're able to get back to financial stability. 

 

If you follow university trends then this wouldn't be a shock. Many universities are restructuring in this way. Less tenured professors and more adjuncts instead. Most of these cost saving measures are due to the fact that Admin staff and hiring has gotten ridiculous. As students ask their universities to cater to their whims and protections more and more universities are having to over-inflate their admin staffs like crazy just to keep up and head off any potential personal, mental, social, or cultural problems that a student might have on campus. These are things universities never wanted to get into, but due to current societal and cultural pressures are pouring money into. Its not a great trend. I'm not one for bashing generations, but this is an exclusive Generation Z issue. Everyone always blames my gen for these issues (Millennials), but its really Gen Z.

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Adjuncts are seriously overworked and underpaid (and, in notable opposition to tenured faculty, have basically zero protections), so this is a terrible trend.

 

Blaming the next generation isn't terribly helpful though. Ultimately these are decisions made by the University, and from my (indirect) experience inflating admin staff is only part of the problem at most schools.

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34 minutes ago, Luminare said:

 

If you follow university trends then this wouldn't be a shock. Many universities are restructuring in this way. Less tenured professors and more adjuncts instead. Most of these cost saving measures are due to the fact that Admin staff and hiring has gotten ridiculous. As students ask their universities to cater to their whims and protections more and more universities are having to over-inflate their admin staffs like crazy just to keep up and head off any potential personal, mental, social, or cultural problems that a student might have on campus. These are things universities never wanted to get into, but due to current societal and cultural pressures are pouring money into. Its not a great trend. I'm not one for bashing generations, but this is an exclusive Generation Z issue. Everyone always blames my gen for these issues (Millennials), but its really Gen Z.

 

Yeah.... I'm going to have to call foul.

 

Scapegoating the youngest generation for the failings of previous generations is tired trope. As a millennial, you're just falling into the trap now that a new kid is on the block. Tisk, tisk. Like you said, boomers have been blaming Millennials for 10+ years now for pretty much all the stuff they've done. 

 

The real reason is tax $ and government policy of at least the last two decades. Plain and simple:

 

As more and more states have reduced education spending and support for universities, the cost of education has gone up to make up the difference.

 

The ability to take out essentially endless amounts of $ to fund your education has led to no downward pressure on university prices. And to attract this seemingly endless supply of students, an arms race of facilities / amenities took off.... which then caused education to further rise and creating a sort of synergism on rising prices.

 

In addition, universities (and especially smaller, private ones) began to rely on foreign students who paid the full price tag to cover their increased costs. Globalism and a rising India & China seem to produce an endless supply of these students willing (or at least their governments were) to pay full freight.

 

More and more people have kept taking out larger and larger loans.... more and more students from around the world came.... until recently.

 

The debt burden has grown so large that the return on the investment doesn't make sense to people anymore… especially for smaller, private liberal arts schools.

 

Recent government policies around immigration and the rise in credible educational institutions around the world (like in the gulf and China) has had a chilling effect on foreign students willing to come here …. and pay full way.

 

That's why St. Thomas has to reduce costs.

They've incurred large amounts of debt w/ the investment of new facilities.

More and more people are asking whether going there makes sense when it cost so much. 

Less people paying full sticker price.

If they don't start getting ahead of this, they will cease to exist.

 

 

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27 minutes ago, DNAguy said:

 

Yeah.... I'm going to have to call foul.

 

Scapegoating the youngest generation for the failings of previous generations is tired trope. As a millennial, you're just falling into the trap now that a new kid is on the block. Tisk, tisk. Like you said, boomers have been blaming Millennials for 10+ years now for pretty much all the stuff they've done. 

 

The real reason is tax $ and government policy of at least the last two decades. Plain and simple:

 

As more and more states have reduced education spending and support for universities, the cost of education has gone up to make up the difference.

 

The ability to take out essentially endless amounts of $ to fund your education has led to no downward pressure on university prices. And to attract this seemingly endless supply of students, an arms race of facilities / amenities took off.... which then caused education to further rise and creating a sort of synergism on rising prices.

 

In addition, universities (and especially smaller, private ones) began to rely on foreign students who paid the full price tag to cover their increased costs. Globalism and a rising India & China seem to produce an endless supply of these students willing (or at least their governments were) to pay full freight.

 

More and more people have kept taking out larger and larger loans.... more and more students from around the world came.... until recently.

 

The debt burden has grown so large that the return on the investment doesn't make sense to people anymore… especially for smaller, private liberal arts schools.

 

Recent government policies around immigration and the rise in credible educational institutions around the world (like in the gulf and China) has had a chilling effect on foreign students willing to come here …. and pay full way.

 

That's why St. Thomas has to reduce costs.

They've incurred large amounts of debt w/ the investment of new facilities.

More and more people are asking whether going there makes sense when it cost so much. 

Less people paying full sticker price.

If they don't start getting ahead of this, they will cease to exist.

 

 

 

Yikes. Chill. You obviously didn't read the part where I said that it isn't typical for me to bash one generation over the other. Each generation has its own issues. Some are because of the previous and some are squarely on the current one. What I said before though is a truism of Gen Z just like there are truisms about my generation that aren't great either. Just tone it down a tad. I agree with your points though. The current university woes is a multi variant problem that is from seemingly all angles. In the truest sense of the phrase, it is what would be called a "wicked problem" that nobody has a real answer too, at least to attack the whole problem as a whole. Many know how to change things in pieces, but its a hard one to solve. None of those discussions can take place though if we don't acknowledge faults and some of those faults can be place on Gen Z just like there are faults that can be placed on Millennials and Gen X who are the parents of Gen Z.

Edited by Luminare
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1 hour ago, Luminare said:

 

Yikes. Chill. You obviously didn't read the part where I said that it isn't typical for me to bash one generation over the other. Each generation has its own issues. Some are because of the previous and some are squarely on the current one. What I said before though is a truism of Gen Z just like there are truisms about my generation that aren't great either. Just tone it down a tad. I agree with your points though. The current university woes is a multi variant problem that is from seemingly all angles. In the truest sense of the phrase, it is what would be called a "wicked problem" that nobody has a real answer too, at least to attack the whole problem as a whole. Many know how to change things in pieces, but its a hard one to solve. None of those discussions can take place though if we don't acknowledge faults and some of those faults can be place on Gen Z just like there are faults that can be placed on Millennials and Gen X who are the parents of Gen Z.

 

Sorry if the tone came across aggressive. In my head it was more snarky than the plain text.

 

Now get off my lawn.

Edited by DNAguy
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Drastic cuts to funding AND a facilities arms race have gotten universities in trouble. My dorm had cinder block walls and there was one hall bath shared by 38 freshman boys. The rooms had two cots, two wardrobes, and one counter top. When I took my daughter on tours a few years ago, many freshman dorms had private rooms, private or semi-private suite bathrooms, kitchen facilities, luxury laundry facilities, and a few even had their own workout rooms just in case walking five minutes to the over-the-top fitness center with indoor and outdoor pools, rock climbing walls, pilates classes, etc... was too inconvenient. Dining facilities looked like upscale malls with multiple options and chains. Somebody is paying for that and I bet if you asked college kids who actually HAD to pay their own way, they'd give it all up for lower costs of attendance.

 

My two years of graduate school cost less than ONE semester now of undergrad. I graduated in 1998. That's a helluva increase. 

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13 hours ago, Luminare said:

 

If you follow university trends then this wouldn't be a shock. Many universities are restructuring in this way. Less tenured professors and more adjuncts instead. Most of these cost saving measures are due to the fact that Admin staff and hiring has gotten ridiculous. As students ask their universities to cater to their whims and protections more and more universities are having to over-inflate their admin staffs like crazy just to keep up and head off any potential personal, mental, social, or cultural problems that a student might have on campus. These are things universities never wanted to get into, but due to current societal and cultural pressures are pouring money into. Its not a great trend. I'm not one for bashing generations, but this is an exclusive Generation Z issue. Everyone always blames my gen for these issues (Millennials), but its really Gen Z.

 

Not a shock at all, I'm familiar with the trends in question. This guy has a more nuanced take on the conventional wisdom regarding admin staff bloat, although some of the gaps in his argument are pointed out in the comments:

 

Is Administrative Bloat Really a Big Problem?

 

I don't think the supplanting of tenured faculty by adjunct faculty is defensible in any way beyond naked cost-cutting, and since tenured faculty are the lifeblood of a university, doing so is a de facto admission of an institution's scaling back its aspirations, whether by choice to allocate funds elsewhere or involuntary but required as a result of some unpleasant financial realities coming home to roost (as would seem to be the case with UST). 

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Tenure is what gives academics the freedom to rock the boat. 

 

If you've got someone who's really bad, or likes to grope, or some such, they can still be fired for cause, tenure or none. 

 

Adjuncts have their place - such as people who have day jobs teaching a class at a professional school in their discipline.  I learned a lot from such adjuncts.  But filling the faculty with them at the cost of tenure to "hold down costs" is just short sighted.

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Over the last twenty years the number of FT tenure and tenure track positions have diminished by roughly the same proportion of admin jobs that have been created- - of course, this is occurring at differing degrees depending upon the types of institutions as shown in those charts. The last statistical estimation I saw placed nearly 2/3rd of all higher ed faculty as PT/contingent.  Yet, the average cost of a college degree has nearly quadrupled in the same time period. Tenure, for all intent and purpose, is teetering on total collapse, less so at top ranked privates and publics but it's only a matter of time.  

With a pending educational bubble explosion, unless something is done about all the unpaid debt (college debt now exceeds average credit card debt per capita) as wages have ONLY increased for those in the top 10%, the country may be in a world of hurt in the next decade or two. 

 

 

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On 8/17/2019 at 8:08 PM, nyc_tex said:

Over the last twenty years the number of FT tenure and tenure track positions have diminished by roughly the same proportion of admin jobs that have been created- - of course, this is occurring at differing degrees depending upon the types of institutions as shown in those charts. The last statistical estimation I saw placed nearly 2/3rd of all higher ed faculty as PT/contingent.  Yet, the average cost of a college degree has nearly quadrupled in the same time period. Tenure, for all intent and purpose, is teetering on total collapse, less so at top ranked privates and publics but it's only a matter of time.  

With a pending educational bubble explosion, unless something is done about all the unpaid debt (college debt now exceeds average credit card debt per capita) as wages have ONLY increased for those in the top 10%, the country may be in a world of hurt in the next decade or two. 

 

 

Agreed.  But, there are those in power at high levels that are trying desperately to sound the alarm about the historic and record breaking student loan debt that even those of middle age still owe and how the rates are so high, they'll probably never be able to pay those debts off.  Some relief has to come soon, or the beginning and younger graduates out of high school will no longer have college as a viable option, especially once they realize their own parents are still struggling with student loan payments with high interest rates.  It seems that the student loan banking industry has more power to get what's "owed" them than even the IRS and those guys are ruthless, by going after a person's relatives and estate even after one has died.  Maybe the adage should be rewritten to say "death, taxes, and student loans".  Anyway, something has to be done and soon before this "bubble" bursts just like the housing one did 12 years ago.  If not, having beautiful colleges and incredible faculty won't matter much if the students can't afford to even walk through the front door.

 

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  • The title was changed to University of St. Thomas Campus Developments
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University of St. Thomas' McNair Center launches advisory board with 2 local entrepreneurs

https://www.bizjournals.com/houston/news/2021/09/01/mcnair-center-george-joseph-zawadi-bryant.html

The University of St. Thomas has launched an advisory board for its McNair Center for Free Enterprise and Entrepreneurship.

George Joseph, CEO of Common Bond Bistro & Bakery and Positive Recovery Centers, and Zawadi Bryant, president of acute care pediatrics at Mednax Inc. (NYSE: MD), are the board's first founding members. Each board member "has life goals that align with those of the McNair Center," UST said.

“The McNair Center is laser-focused on entrepreneurship and free enterprise, and what a shot in the arm to launch an advisory board with two such outstandingly successful Houston entrepreneurs," Patrick Woock, director of the McNair Center for Free Enterprise and Entrepreneurship at the University of St. Thomas, told the Houston Business Journal. "Our students are going to have an added edge as they develop the art of entrepreneurship.”

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https://www.houstonchronicle.com/business/article/The-Black-Labrador-takes-on-new-life-as-a-space-16446233.php

The Black Labrador takes on new life as a space for students, alumni

 

R.A. SchuetzStaff writer
Sep. 9, 2021Updated: Sep. 9, 2021 11:32 a.m.
 

For over 30 years, the Black Labrador on Montrose Boulevard was a gathering spot, a British-style pub where people could spend time and have conversation before it closed in December 2019, just months before the pandemic would drive a slew of local bars and restaurants out of business.

Now, the former British-style pub is showing signs of life once more. The strip’s longtime owner, the University of St. Thomas, is returning the space to its roots as a gathering spot — this time, with a special focus on becoming a place for students and alumni.

When the Black Lab moved out of the space, University of St. Thomas was looking for more places for students and alumni to spend time, said Jeff Olsen, vice president of marketing at the university. The pub where students had already grown to love spending their time, he said, seemed a natural fit.

Updates to the space, which began in early spring, have been minimal to maintain the character of the friendly pub. The renovations include taking down wallpaper, putting up a fresh coat of paint, fixing sconces, replacing old carpeting and bringing in new furniture.

“We love the way the Black Lab looks, and we love the way it makes our alumni feel because they’ve spent so much time there,” Olsen said.

The main bar is being readied as a space for alumni engagement events. When events are not being held, the plan is to sell coffee and grab-and-go meals that will be open to the public starting in fall of 2022.

Cezannethe upstairs jazz venue affiliated with the Black Labrador, will also be used for community engagement. And the former Churchill Room, a room in the Black Labrador once reserved by large groups, has been turned into a lounge for students participating in the University of St. Thomas’s Rising Star program, which pairs students with part-time office jobs at some of Houston’s largest corporations to earn funds toward tuition.

Gone are the golden letters spelling out the Black Labrador’s name or the picture of a dog looking out of a field. But the interior is mostly unchanged. Its multiple wooden bars and art deco lamps are still in place.

“Alumni call it the Black Lab still,” Olsen said of the space.

On the other side of a yellow door — once the entrance to the Churchill Room — a dozen students gathered in what’s now called the Rising Stars Lounge. The Rising Stars program, which is in its third year, has quickly grown from five students to a hundred. Most are the first in their families to attend university.

Around a table, students chatted and worked. Christopher Amaro, a freshman studying international business, was typing up a speech for his campaign for freshman senator.

Yasmine De La Rosa, a freshman who is working with the Houston Ballet through the program, was unwinding after an English Literature class. Tirranye Jones, a sophomore working part time with the Hackett Center for Mental Health through the program, pored over a finance textbook, part of the lounge’s nascent library. (Rising Stars Program Manager Daniel Garcia is seeking textbook donations.)

Jones said the lounge was an invaluable space, especially during the pandemic.

“Last year, I was a freshman, and I really didn’t have anywhere to go,” she said. “So, every time I needed somewhere to be to feel connected, I’d come here — I felt like it was my own personal space, a safe haven.”

rebecca.schuetz@chron.com;

 


 
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  • 10 months later...

Surveyors are surveying the whole block. They don't know what is going to be built but I have a feeling it might be the basketball gymnasium that was proposed a while back or possibly more dorms since they plan to add more students. Some of the houses are in really bad shape and don't appear to be lived in or used.

@Paco Jones any inside info on this?

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