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And it's about attracting research funds and top researchers/faculty which is an extension of the venture capital. I think you are underestimating what becoming Tier 1 entails and the effect it would have.

You're still not understanding. Becoming "Tier 1" entails whatever its proponents want it to entail, as its original, literal meaning has been lost. It did not always mean asking for ~$100 million/yr from the state legislature and building high-end dorms in the meantime. I even heard a girl say that U of H should build a new football stadium "so we can play Tier 1 teams."

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Quite a few updates in the last meeting.   Law school:  Budget: $90M Square Feet 179k SF Floors: 5 Completion: August 2022 Architect/Engineer: Shepley Bulfinch

https://www.uh.edu/news-events/stories/2019/november-2019/11182019-lawbuilding.php    

FINAL FOUR LETS GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO 🥳🥳🥳🥳🥳🥳🥳

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You're still not understanding. Becoming "Tier 1" entails whatever its proponents want it to entail, as its original, literal meaning has been lost. It did not always mean asking for ~$100 million/yr from the state legislature and building high-end dorms in the meantime. I even heard a girl say that U of H should build a new football stadium "so we can play Tier 1 teams."

Quote from Dude, Where's My Car??

"The continuum transfunctioner is a very mysterious and powerful device whose mystery is only exceeded by it's power."

Such is the case with Tier One ;)

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You're still not understanding. Becoming "Tier 1" entails whatever its proponents want it to entail, as its original, literal meaning has been lost. It did not always mean asking for ~$100 million/yr from the state legislature and building high-end dorms in the meantime. I even heard a girl say that U of H should build a new football stadium "so we can play Tier 1 teams."

To me, the ends justify the means.

Use whatever slogan necessary, as long as it results in greater alumni giving, better corporate support, and more support from our state and local governments.

"Tier I" is a pretty amorphous term, but it is being used (successfully, in my opinion) to push UH to a higher level, both in public perception and in reality.

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I heard from a usually reliable source that some of the new Calhoun Lofts tenants are planning to sue the University for changing the grad student-only policy. They signed leases on the assumption that the lofts would be a grad student facilty, as advertised, and instead are living around underclassmen. Interesting. Unless the policy is spelled out in the lease, I can't see having a case. In any event, will try and find out more.

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To me, the ends justify the means.

Use whatever slogan necessary, as long as it results in greater alumni giving, better corporate support, and more support from our state and local governments.

"Tier I" is a pretty amorphous term, but it is being used (successfully, in my opinion) to push UH to a higher level, both in public perception and in reality.

Well then this goes back to my original point. If they are using "Tier 1" to justify things they do across-the-board in the same way they are throwing around "learning/scholar/research community" to justify building Calhoun Lofts then I am not enthused. You can't spin your way into the upper ranks. And in the meantime, other schools are improving themselves too.

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I heard from a usually reliable source that some of the new Calhoun Lofts tenants are planning to sue the University for changing the grad student-only policy. They signed leases on the assumption that the lofts would be a grad student facilty, as advertised, and instead are living around underclassmen. Interesting. Unless the policy is spelled out in the lease, I can't see having a case. In any event, will try and find out more.

I overheard a guy at the Den saying that he wanted to sue to get out of his lease since he signed on with the understanding that there would be a grocery store. I understand his frustration since he claimed to not have a car, but like you I don't think they can say much without a lease specifying it out. My understanding was that he was just hoping the university would acquiesce rather than go to court.

I guess that's what you get when you have a building full of law students :)

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Quote from Dude, Where's My Car??

"The continuum transfunctioner is a very mysterious and powerful device whose mystery is only exceeded by it's power."

Such is the case with Tier One ;)

No mystery here. The school spelled it out in a report about their initiative. "Tier 1" (to them) means ~$100 million/year and in return they will bring venture capital $$ into the local economy.

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Well then this goes back to my original point. If they are using "Tier 1" to justify things they do across-the-board in the same way they are throwing around "learning/scholar/research community" to justify building Calhoun Lofts then I am not enthused. You can't spin your way into the upper ranks. And in the meantime, other schools are improving themselves too.

Don't forget the UH motto..."In Time." Rome wasn't built in a day, neither will the learning/scholar/research community. I will say that when I was in school in the early 90's, a similar "community" was in place in the Quadrangle. Several of the Quad dorms were Honors Program dorms, in which Honors Program students were given priority. We had some non-Honors students in the dorms, but it was mainly Honors students. I thought it was quite a success. We were not always the most diligent and studious students, we had a hell of a great time too. It was kinda like being in one of the colleges at Rice, except without all the multi-sided dice!

No mystery here. The school spelled it out in a report about their initiative. "Tier 1" (to them) means ~$100 million/year and in return they will bring venture capital $$ into the local economy.

Well, we hit that level ($100 million in research) this year! TIER ONE BABY!!! DONE!

What's next?

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Don't forget the UH motto..."In Time." Rome wasn't built in a day, neither will the learning/scholar/research community. I will say that when I was in school in the early 90's, a similar "community" was in place in the Quadrangle. Several of the Quad dorms were Honors Program dorms, in which Honors Program students were given priority. We had some non-Honors students in the dorms, but it was mainly Honors students. I thought it was quite a success. We were not always the most diligent and studious students, we had a hell of a great time too. It was kinda like being in one of the colleges at Rice, except without all the multi-sided dice!

Again, I'm talking about Calhoun Lofts, where the only barrier to entry is the ability to pay to live there.

Well, we hit that level ($100 million in research) this year!

I meant to say ~$100 million/yr from the state legislature.

TIER ONE BABY!!! DONE!

What's next?

Well, now you just have to convince everyone of your definition of "Tier 1" :)

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Well if y'all don't like Calhoun Lofts at UofH, get ready to not like a lot of other stuff.

Stadium Parking Garage and Cougar Walk...

http://www.uhsa.uh.edu/regents/board_meetings/documents/081209Facilities/FCMP6.1.pdf

New Business classroom building...

http://www.uhsa.uh.edu/regents/board_meetings/documents/081209Facilities/FCMP8.1.pdf

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http://www.thedailycougar.com/uh-deals-with-parking-1.1995223

Two more parking garages are also being built to add to the existing Welcome Center garage. The east garage across from Calhoun Lofts has 1,500 spaces and is scheduled to open Nov. 11.

The third garage will be located at Robertson Stadium. It is expected to have 2,000-2,400 spaces, and completion is slated for July 2011.

The University is also searching for alternative resources for a fourth garage.

“We are attempting, and we’ve applied for some Federal funding, to help support the cost of a garage near the transit centers, a multi-mogul garage that we can tie into the light rail,” Browand said.

Any news on the new student center? I think that project in particular has the broadest appeal -- commuter students, on campus students, grad students, undergrads, etc. all use it. On-campus living at most schools usually has a lot to do with school clubs, so accomodating those clubs with a nicer student center should have been the main priority for a school serious about improving its "community" feel. I know they made a master plan, but have they found a construction firm yet?

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http://www.thedailycougar.com/funds-push-uh-closer-to-flagship-status-1.2028385

A number of criteria must be met before a public research university can attain flagship status, and Birx said UH is close on all metrics except the research aspect.

“One of the biggest criteria for achieving (flagship) is based on the level of research funding,” Birx said. “What usually follows is (that) expenditures increase and the University starts moving strongly to being a key metric tier one institution. Why that is a measurement that is used is because (research) is very competitive.”

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 2 weeks later...

...the phrase "Tier 1" has completely lost its original meaning and has come to mean whatever anybody wants it to mean.

The latest definition has something to do with attracting venture capital to the area and they even assigned a per-year dollar amount needed to get to "Tier 1" (as if it were really that easy). And now being "Tier 1" can be about high-end living and sportsmanship, too.

OK, maybe you have a point. UH is getting a "Tier 1" dining experience now!!! :mellow:

http://www.uh.edu/uhtoday/2009/11nov/111709moody-dininghall-renovations.html

REGENTS APPROVE RENOVATIONS

TO MOODY DINING HALL

In late April, construction will begin on Moody Towers dining hall and the revamped facility will begin operations in August.

Photo by Pathik Shah

A new dining concept is cooking at Moody Towers.

Soon, the University of Houston community will experience a new dimension of campus dining thanks to an $11 million renovation of Moody’s dining facilities. The UH System Regents recently approved this major project that will completely transform the dining hall.

In late April 2010 construction will begin on this project, and the revamped facility will begin operations in August. It will connect Moody Towers with the new undergraduate residence hall that also will open in fall.

The new dining facility will display the Fresh Food Company concept that is popular at campus eateries across the nation. This food-service model is focused on meals being prepared in front of customers and being freshly prepared upon request.

“The renovation will upgrade a 39-year-old dining facility into a Tier-One culinary experience for our students, faculty and staff,” said Emily Messa, vice president of University Services. “With the renovation, we will have the largest Fresh Food Company in the nation.”

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The new dining facility will display the Fresh Food Company concept that is popular at campus eateries across the nation. This food-service model is focused on meals being prepared in front of customers and being freshly prepared upon request.

“The renovation will upgrade a 39-year-old dining facility into a Tier-One culinary experience for our students, faculty and staff,” said Emily Messa, vice president of University Services. “With the renovation, we will have the largest Fresh Food Company in the nation.”

I see Aramark is bringing the back the food service model formerly known as a 'short-order grill'. LOL, that's some Tier 1 marketing bullshit if I've ever seen it.

I know, I know, sour grapes. Aramark sucks. I applied for a corporate marketing gig with Aramark once. They did not like my idea for a new branding campaign:

(video) Birth. School. Work. Death.

(voiceover)

Aramark. We Feed the Circle of Life.

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The new dining facility will display the Fresh Food Company concept that is popular at campus eateries across the nation. This food-service model is focused on meals being prepared in front of customers and being freshly prepared upon request.

“The renovation will upgrade a 39-year-old dining facility into a Tier-One culinary experience for our students, faculty and staff,” said Emily Messa, vice president of University Services. “With the renovation, we will have the largest Fresh Food Company in the nation.”

I see Aramark is bringing the back the food service model formerly known as a 'short-order grill'. LOL, that's some Tier 1 marketing bullshit if I've ever seen it.

When I was at UH in the early 90's, we had the short-order grill in OB. They made some great sandwiches and hamburgers over there. In the mornings you have made-to-order omelettes. Most of my friends didn't know this because they ate nothing but cereal.

Sometime in the 90's, the Towers dining area changed from cafeteria style (which I loved) to the "mini-restaurant" idea. That's when you had the Little Kim Son, the Blimpie, and I don't know what else was in there...but what's the difference between the new "Tier 1" :lol: dining experience :lol: and what they went to in the mid-90's.

I don't think you could get cafeteria-style food after my first couple years at UH. They opened up the Chik-Fil-A, Whataburger, Wendy's, Blimpies, etc. in all the dining halls. At that point in time I'd stopped eating on campus...just ramen and tuna supplemented with a daily 99-cent Whopper...but seemed to me like they took away any possible chance of eating healthy on campus at that time.

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When I was at UH in the early 90's, we had the short-order grill in OB. They made some great sandwiches and hamburgers over there. In the mornings you have made-to-order omelettes. Most of my friends didn't know this because they ate nothing but cereal.

OB! In the dark ages when I lived in Settegast (mid 80s) the caf at OB was pretty good. It was regular student dining on one side and athletes on the other. All the food was caf style back then, except that horrid Itza Pizza in the Towers.

Not a lot of dorm food can beat the scratch breakfast tacos in the dorm cafs at Southwest Texas State back in the day. It was like having your very own little taco lady making breakfast for you every day. UH needs some Tier 1 Taco Ladies.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Thanks Brian...

I also hear that almost all the homes along Wheeler (in front of these dorms) have been demolished in preparation for the SE Light Rail line.

Right. Last time I was there (last week), there were only two homes left. They went pretty quickly.

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  • 2 months later...

I was mulling over UH's "Tier 1" infatuation, its $100+ million new loft dorm, and its new $55+ million new regular dorm and I remembered an article I read somewhere about another school...

Many schools use consultants such as Noel-Levitz and continue to attract a mix of students with a broad range of economic backgrounds. But some fear Seattle U.'s move could signal a willingness by the college to target wealthier students — who typically arrive with better grades and are more able to pay tuition — over the types of disadvantaged students McKeon championed.

"There are real concerns in the profession when outside marketing firms are asked to come in," said Lloyd Thacker, director of the Portland nonprofit advocacy group The Education Conservancy. "They are typically brought in to improve the average SAT scores, the selectivity and the wealth of students."

(from http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/education/2010081573_seattleu17m.html)

So the new amenities at U of H are geared towards attracting richer students and in the meantime they raise tuition every year?

Hmmmm....I think I see what this is all about...

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So the new amenities at U of H are geared towards attracting richer students and in the meantime they raise tuition every year?

The tuition increases approved this year are happening all over the country as a consequence of tighter state budgets.

But yeah, Tier One is all about empire-building for the UH System. That should've become clear when UH-Downtown was founded just a few miles away as part of their effort to more effectively segregate and target different segments of their pool of prospective customers.

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The tuition increases approved this year are happening all over the country as a consequence of tighter state budgets.

But yeah, Tier One is all about empire-building for the UH System. That should've become clear when UH-Downtown was founded just a few miles away as part of their effort to more effectively segregate and target different segments of their pool of prospective customers.

Right. I go to UofH (freshman) and most of my friends there realize the things that UH is trying to do by getting a different segment of the population.

On a side note, I saw a map the other day of UofH in a decade and it's going to look radically different. Most if not all of the current parking lots will be gone. It was actually posted in another thread... if anyone wants me to put it here, I'll gladly do it.

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I was mulling over UH's "Tier 1" infatuation, its $100+ million new loft dorm, and its new $55+ million new regular dorm and I remembered an article I read somewhere about another school...

(from http://seattletimes....attleu17m.html)

So the new amenities at U of H are geared towards attracting richer students and in the meantime they raise tuition every year?

Hmmmm....I think I see what this is all about...

My two cents:

It would seem wealthier students perform better academically and are demographic that UH needs to draw away from schools such as UT, A&M, and Tech. It seems that particular demographic is essential to UH (among other factors) to becoming a more reputable and better academic school. That is not to say lower income students aren't as hard working or less prepared, as I know many that have a certain work ethic that is due to the fact they want better than what they grew up with. However, community colleges are becoming increasingly popular and increasingly more reputable. I don't think UH setting the bar higher financially and academically is a bad thing because having a degree from a community college and university is becoming blurred in many profession. Furthermore, I would say that some professions are better suited for people that go to community college or that go to a university.

As Niche mentioned, tuition rates are going up across the board. In fact compared to the big boys of Texas, it is a modest amount.

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The tuition increases approved this year are happening all over the country as a consequence of tighter state budgets.

Maybe "every" year was a bit of an exaggeration, but I want to make clear I wasn't just talking about this year. When I was there in 2006 (my first year at U of H, when the economy was doing pretty well) there was also a large increase, if I recall correctly.

But yeah, Tier One is all about empire-building for the UH System. That should've become clear when UH-Downtown was founded just a few miles away as part of their effort to more effectively segregate and target different segments of their pool of prospective customers.

Well that may be true and I think that any segregating done should be on the basis of academic ability first and foremost. If the more qualified students just happen to have more money, then I say so be it. But I think it's cynical to specifically attract students with more money with expensive amenities and put the squeeze on poorer students (who pay for some of these amenities with their tuition increase, but cannot afford to actually live in them) in the meantime.

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It would seem wealthier students perform better academically and are demographic that UH needs to draw away from schools such as UT, A&M, and Tech. It seems that particular demographic is essential to UH (among other factors) to becoming a more reputable and better academic school.

I think that particular demographic is only essential to UH becoming a school with more of that particular demographic.

Some interesting links:

http://economix.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/09/28/poor-students-at-rich-colleges/

http://rankings.usnews.com/best-colleges/national-economic-diversity

University of Houston Houston, TX 29%

I'm guessing somebody at UH noticed a correlation between income and academic achievement or something like that and messed up on correlation v. causation. I think top notch schools can tend to attract wealthy students, but that doesn't mean attracting wealthy students will result in a top notch school. For example, there are wealthy schools that are academically crap, and (as the second link I posted should make clear) there are lots of schools that are significantly better than UH which already have more poor students than UH does now.

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I am not sure how an article written about Seattle U. pertains all that much to The University of Houston. I guess you didn't know that Seattle U is a private school located in a city in which it is completely overshadowed by a large state school (U of Washington)?

As a UH alum, I am always amazed at how UH students love to delicate flower and moan. They delicate flower and moan about a lack of parking but when the school builds new garages, they complain about the parking rates. They complain about aging facilities such as Agnes Arnold Hall but when the school tries to raise fees, they delicate flower about the fees. They complain about an unfriendly Admin Staff but then don't blink an eye when the State of Texas slahes the budget forcing even more cuts but when UH raises tuition to try and offset those cuts, they are up in arms again.

The University of Houston is a TOTAL BARGAIN. It's one of the ebst bang for your bucks you'll ever come across but it is HIGH time for the students and alums to spend more.

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I am not sure how an article written about Seattle U. pertains all that much to The University of Houston. I guess you didn't know that Seattle U is a private school located in a city in which it is completely overshadowed by a large state school (U of Washington)?

Well it's been several replies since I posted that, but you're the first to admit non-understanding. I'm not sure what to say.

Anyway, my advice would be to actually read the article, which can help you to not be so "amazed" (as you admitted below) by students expressing concern about the direction their institution is heading.

The University of Houston is a TOTAL BARGAIN. It's one of the ebst bang for your bucks you'll ever come across but it is HIGH time for the students and alums to spend more.

According to who, you? And in comparison to what? Well, at least you can rest assured that the administration probably agrees with you and has decided to pin its hopes on admitting more of your kind, building the things you (and only you) like and spreading the burden across the rest of us.

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I think that particular demographic is only essential to UH becoming a school with more of that particular demographic.

Some interesting links:

http://economix.blog...-rich-colleges/

http://rankings.usne...nomic-diversity

I'm guessing somebody at UH noticed a correlation between income and academic achievement or something like that and messed up on correlation v. causation. I think top notch schools can tend to attract wealthy students, but that doesn't mean attracting wealthy students will result in a top notch school. For example, there are wealthy schools that are academically crap, and (as the second link I posted should make clear) there are lots of schools that are significantly better than UH which already have more poor students than UH does now.

Perhaps you should compare the average SAT scores of students admitted to UH against some of those in your links. UH has a high acceptance rate and average SAT requirement for Texas school, which has an average SAT score due to Texas's mediocre education system (in general). I'm not knocking UH, but I think it would be better served to raise it's acceptance requirements. Some of the students at UH would probably be better served at community colleges . This would skew the socioeconomic demographics of UH slightly, but it would more than likely help UH out in the long run.

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Well, it would result in fewer students and less revenue. I guess that would achieve the end of forcing tuitions up, if that's solely what you're going for.

The best route for U of H to take is to improve the quality of its education first, in turn enticing better students to apply and taking the best ones. This is the model that has worked for many of the schools on that list, which (as you may have noticed) subsequently ended up with higher SAT averages of entering students.

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Well, it would result in fewer students and less revenue. I guess that would achieve the end of forcing tuitions up, if that's solely what you're going for. The best route for U of H to take is to improve the quality of its education first, in turn enticing better students to apply and taking the best ones. This is the model that has worked for many of the schools on that list, which (as you may have noticed) subsequently ended up with higher SAT averages of entering students.

It would result result in fewer students and less revenue? Do you think raising the acceptance standards incrementally would cause an enrollment drop off and therefore a revenue loss? I never mentioned how acceptance standards raised and you started to jump to conclusions. Furthermore, how would improving education not raise the university's expenses and potentially cause a tuition hike? And again tuition is going up nationwide.

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Well the reality is that either U of H stays as it is, or they spend money. So should the money spent be directed towards educational directives that pay off in the form of a student body that companies will beat down the door to recruit, or should the money be spent on "amenities" designed to entice a new economic class at the expense of existing students? Keep in mind U of H is spending into the hundreds of millions of dollars here against a ~$500 million systemwide endowment.

I would be truly interested in hearing about any idea that raised acceptance standards without reducing the class size and therefore revenue. Usually good schools manage to avoid bad students, but that doesn't mean avoiding bad students will result in a good school.

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Well the reality is that either U of H stays as it is, or they spend money. So should the money spent be directed towards educational directives that pay off in the form of a student body that companies will beat down the door to recruit, or should the money be spent on "amenities" designed to entice a new economic class at the expense of existing students? Keep in mind U of H is spending into the hundreds of millions of dollars here against a ~$500 million systemwide endowment.

I would be truly interested in hearing about any idea that raised acceptance standards without reducing the class size and therefore revenue. Usually good schools manage to avoid bad students, but that doesn't mean avoiding bad students will result in a good school.

The money should be spent according to whatever will create a larger pool of better-qualified applicants. At the undergraduate level, that has very little to do with academics and more to do with lifestyle amenities and sports programs; these are also the programs that foster alumni involvement. At the graduate level, research spending is the name of the game.

If they can select from a better pool of prospective students (more like UT-Austin) then they're going to do better on average, one way or the other, and corporate recruiters won't need to be sought after...they'll just show up.

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The money should be spent according to whatever will create a larger pool of better-qualified applicants. At the undergraduate level, that has very little to do with academics and more to do with lifestyle amenities and sports programs; these are also the programs that foster alumni involvement. At the graduate level, research spending is the name of the game.

Well, we'll have to agree to disagree, since for my part I think the money should be spent to create a larger pool of well-qualified graduates (*not* applicants). If it were as easy as going into debt to finance lifestyle "amenities" and sports programs I think they (as well as every other school) would have done it years ago. Moreover, many of these lifestyle "amenities", as I have mentioned, seem specifically designed to target specific income/demographic groups to the exclusion of others (who still have to pay for the construction of such amenities with their tuition).

If they can select from a better pool of prospective students (more like UT-Austin) then they're going to do better on average, one way or the other, and corporate recruiters won't need to be sought after...they'll just show up.

Not sure UT is the model to follow...the "flagship university", in a very populous state, that can barely crack the Top 50? Surely there are better examples elsewhere.

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Well, we'll have to agree to disagree, since for my part I think the money should be spent to create a larger pool of well-qualified graduates (*not* applicants). If it were as easy as going into debt to finance lifestyle "amenities" and sports programs I think they (as well as every other school) would have done it years ago. Moreover, many of these lifestyle "amenities", as I have mentioned, seem specifically designed to target specific income/demographic groups to the exclusion of others (who still have to pay for the construction of such amenities with their tuition).

Is there not a middle ground between making investments in "lifestyle amenities" and improving the educational quality of the university? You seem to only deal in absolutes, only the Sith deal in absolutes. That was my first Star Wars reference and will be my last (although a reference from the mediocre Star Wars).

Not sure UT is the model to follow...the "flagship university", in a very populous state, that can barely crack the Top 50? Surely there are better examples elsewhere.

I don't think it was a suggestion to follow UT, but to get some of the quality of students UT gets. Texas as a whole doesn't seem to regard education as important unfortunately, and our public schools (grade school and universities) suffer from it.

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Is there not a middle ground between making investments in "lifestyle amenities" and improving the educational quality of the university? You seem to only deal in absolutes, only the Sith deal in absolutes. That was my first Star Wars reference and will be my last (although a reference from the mediocre Star Wars).

And hopefully it's your last ad hominem attack as well :)

The school has poured hundreds of millions of dollars into lifestyle amenities and quite a bit less into improving educational quality. The only academic investment they have made that could possibly attract prospective students was into the library renovation, which actually cost less than the new freshman dorm and was at least partially paid for by fundraising. So if there is a middle ground, the school seems to be going out of its way to avoid it.

I don't think it was a suggestion to follow UT, but to get some of the quality of students UT gets.

Well, usually better schools manage to attract better students, but that doesn't mean attracting better students will result in a better school.

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N Judah-

Just what money do you want UH to spend to upgrade your experience?

I am sorry, but your attitude is very typical around campus... "We want and deserve better but we don't want to have to pay for it!"

The State of Texas just SLASHED funding for higher education. UH's slight tuition increase is a stop gap measure aimed at not having to have widespread layoffs. It has nothing to do with building taj mahals for rich kids.

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Well, usually better schools manage to attract better students, but that doesn't mean attracting better students will result in a better school.

No it doesn't mean it, but you are sure more likely to have a better school with better students. I think UH needs to work towards shedding the Cougar High label and be more of a traditional university. The city, the students, and university will benefit from moving away from a commuter campus. I certainly don't think this should happen at the expense of the education.

I didn't go to UH, I'm an outsider but I know lots of UH alumni and they pretty much sum up the place being somewhere you can a good education for a good price. It was sort of a bare bones experience for them, even those who did the frat thing.

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The money should be spent according to whatever will create a larger pool of better-qualified applicants. At the undergraduate level, that has very little to do with academics and more to do with lifestyle amenities and sports programs; these are also the programs that foster alumni involvement. At the graduate level, research spending is the name of the game.

If they can select from a better pool of prospective students (more like UT-Austin) then they're going to do better on average, one way or the other, and corporate recruiters won't need to be sought after...they'll just show up.

Fully agree. Another big issue for the main campus is a growing concern for safety. This is a big open campus that is active for basically 10 hours of the day, five to six days a week. Yes, there is a "police force" but they (like most departments) are grossly under-staffed. So most of the time, this place sits vacant and ripe for vadalism towards the few people that are here after hours.

So campus improvements and encouraging student life help in another very important way... they make UofH safer because more people will be around. Not to mention that many of these new additions include retail components that are desperately needed on campus as well.

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I didn't go to UH, I'm an outsider but I know lots of UH alumni and they pretty much sum up the place being somewhere you can a good education for a good price. It was sort of a bare bones experience for them, even those who did the frat thing.

That certainly sums up my experience. And I knew from the first hour or so at my freshman orientation that there was an imbalance. They asked for a show of hands of incoming students that were from Houston, and that was a little over half. Then they asked for people from outside of Houston and still in the U.S, and that was about a quarter of the audience; then they randomly called on a bunch of those people to ask where they're from, and most of those folks were naming surburban communities of Houston. There were probably only a few dozen U.S. citizens coming in from outside of the Houston area. All the rest of the crowd were international. ...actually, I guess I should've figured it out from before then. Few people in my graduating high school class in McAllen had ever even heard of UH, nobody else went there (most that left the Valley went to UT-Austin, TAMU, Southwest Texas, or UTSA), and the counselors didn't know the difference between UH and UH-Downtown.

UH touts its diversity as an asset, but I think it hurts the experience. All those different cultures can get pretty cliquish. Add to that the Cougar High crowd all retain strong local social networks and never have to leave their comfort zone, and for a somewhat introverted guy like myself it was just very difficult to form friendships that weren't superficial. And at the graduate level (at least for the economics department), the "diversity" was overwhelming. Their roster of grad students reads more like what you'd expect from a joint program between China and Romania than any program based in the U.S. A few upper-middle class white kids would've helped bring balance to the program and provded a more culturally-rich experience for all the foreign students.

But my experience, I think, highlights the importance of my earlier argumet. If UH can shift the Cougar High population over to UH-D, offsetting that popuation by appealling to a more geographically-diverse pool of students, then that aids in providing a more traditional college experience and lifestyle. And for the record, I don't think that dorms are the best way to generate interest. Who picks a college because they just built new dorms (particularly when those dorms are overpriced)? Focus on anything that communicates positive messages to graduating high schoolers. UT has a good sports program, a motivated alumni base that encourages their own kids to go there, highly-visible landmarks either on campus or very close by, including "the Drag", and a well-reputed nightlife scene; it has plenty of dorms, but it also has plenty of off-campus housing in nice neighborhoods nearby. TAMU is positioned very similarly, but with a different feel and a lower cost of living. UH, meanwhile, is bordered by some pretty crappy neighborhoods chock full of poor black people (and yes, for the sake of marketing it matters that they're poor and black) that contribute to a perceived crime problem (although I took a lot of night courses and never even knew of anybody that had any problems), offers mostly fast food as a retail component, and is not within walking distance of a business district or a nightlife or a music scene. And whereas Austin or College Station are small enough that their alumni tend to exhibit school pride and get scattered to the wind, UH's alumni have a tendency not to talk about their school unless asked and to remain locals. (One of my parents is a UT alum, the other is a UH alum, but although I'd been to plenty of UT football games by the time I graduated high school, I didn't even know that UH existed until I started researching colleges.) Part of this last problem is related to economic geography, and UH can't change that, but they desperately need to foster some semblance of pride and tradition among their graduates in order to enhance brand loyalty. And by trying to accept a more geographically-diverse student body, perhaps over the long term they will be more able to enhance their brand awareness.

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I have not read this topic so can some one answer this question for me? Is UH developing its campus just to upgrade on what it already has or devloping to really compete for students from around the state with UT and A&M? I don't think many students looking for college know that UH is the third largest university in Texas, I don't think many students in the Houston area know that.

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But my experience, I think, highlights the importance of my earlier argumet. If UH can shift the Cougar High population over to UH-D, offsetting that popuation by appealling to a more geographically-diverse pool of students, then that aids in providing a more traditional college experience and lifestyle. And for the record, I don't think that dorms are the best way to generate interest. Who picks a college because they just built new dorms (particularly when those dorms are overpriced)? Focus on anything that communicates positive messages to graduating high schoolers. UT has a good sports program, a motivated alumni base that encourages their own kids to go there, highly-visible landmarks either on campus or very close by, including "the Drag", and a well-reputed nightlife scene; it has plenty of dorms, but it also has plenty of off-campus housing in nice neighborhoods nearby.

The problem with UH is the off campus housing in the dicey neighborhoods. I wish the dorms were more affordable but that's the way on campus housing is going based on my experience living the new dorms (2006) were at Texas State and my cousin at UT.

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I totally agree with the Niche. UH has done more with less for decades. However, the times have changed and UH shouldn't just be for the first generation college students or kids who can't afford to go away to school or even worse, kids who fail out and come back home only to claim the place they failed out of as their "school". We now have UH Downtown, HCC, San Jac, Lone Star and a ton of others to serve that population. This City needs UH to become more like UCLA, Pitt, UCSD, Georgia Tech, Washington, etc... (large urban universities with excellent reputations). For years, individual and graduate programs have stood out (Hilton, Law Center, Pharmacy, Optometry, Bauer, GSSW) but it is high time for the undergrad experience to gain a better reputation as well.

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Plans for the new "UC" (University Center) are on track:

“The consideration for approval is set for August,” UC 2010 Initiative Co-Chair Nicole Sopko said. “With support from the administration, we look forward (with) hopes of approval in August.”

Once plans are approved, professional design and construction teams will be solicited. During this step, Sopko expects to lock down an architect and design team who will carry them through the rest of the planning.

Students are anticipating the new modifications for the project they voted on.

“When students voted in the process that took place in Fall 2008, they voted for a fully transformed UC,” Sopko said. “The plan is to create an addition and enable that to be used as swing space. It will also allow for a more ADA-friendly UC Satellite.”

Both the directors and the design team will work together to give the UC its new look.

The grand opening of the UC addition is scheduled for a March 2012 unveiling. The renovated UC, which will be named the New University Center Complex, is scheduled for completion May 2015.

(from: http://thedailycougar.com/2010/06/23/plans-for-new-uc-on-track/ )

The total cost of the project should be ~$100 million (in 2011 dollars).

This is according to the cost model, found at: http://www.uh.edu/uc2010/pages/costmodel.php

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Some of the language in the article and also the cost model implies that it's mostly a renovation project. But when Sopko says, "'Our current facility was built 43 years ago, for the needs of approximately 17,000 students,' ... 'Students deserve a building that suits (everyone) attending our first-class institution (and) meets each and every aspect of their educational and individual needs.'", and the project is going to be called the New University Center Complex...it makes it sound like it'll be bigger in addition to being better.

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  • Highrise Tower changed the title to University of Houston Campus Developments

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