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Sorry, I was actually referring to the Hofheinz Pavilion, I had to finish the post suddenly and forgotten all about the post afterwards.

But yeah, they either need to seriously upgrade it or just raze it and start again.

Yep, Hofheinz Pav is old and it does look dated. Still recall when we dropped my big sis and friends off to see a live concert of America/Seals & Crofts around 1972. Its stuck in a time warp. Raze, start again.

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Yep, Hofheinz Pav is old and it does look dated. Still recall when we dropped my big sis and friends off to see a live concert of America/Seals & Crofts around 1972. Its stuck in a time warp. Raze, start again.

Problem with either razing or substantial renovations to Hofheinz is ASBESTOS. Apparently that's a multi-multi-million dollar issue.

Personally I love Hofheinz as-is. It's a great place to watch a game.

I do think the concessions areas could be improved, and there's a lot of wasted space outside of the seating area, but inside the "pit", it's an awesome place. The acoustics make 9,000 people sound like 20,000.

And as far as the endzone facility for Robertson Stadium...

I understand that the 3rd floor of the facility will be all glass, so supposedly you can still see the downtown skyline either over or through the facility.

I agree the exterior of the end zone is a bit bland...it would be very nice if the architect could enhance the existing art-deco facade of the WPA-built stadium. There are hints of art-deco there today, but you could really improve on that...maybe tie it in with the old original limestone buildings on campus (E Cullen, etc.)

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Problem with either razing or substantial renovations to Hofheinz is ASBESTOS. Apparently that's a multi-multi-million dollar issue.

Personally I love Hofheinz as-is. It's a great place to watch a game.

I like Hofheinz as well. only time i didn't like it is when you had to wait in line there to sign up for classes.

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I like the Hoff. Not so much on the suites, though. Rip-em-out!

As far as that end zone facility, it looks like they took part of the wellness center and attached it to Robertson.

How uninspiring.

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I noticed last night that a new development is breaking ground at UH on University Drive near Calhoun, across the street from the Campus Recreation and Wellness Center. They just started stripping the site sometime between Tuesday and Thursday of this week.

Anyone know what's coming?

This is the same site that's had a "coming soon" sign up for months (maybe a year or so?) It's the site with the Lovett Commercial Realty sign.

HCAD shows it's owned by "Calhoun UH Ltd", but the mailing address is Lovett Commercial Realty's. It's about a 1/2-acre site (23,000 sf).

There's also undeveloped land between the new Lovett site and the Catholic Student Center, but it's owned by the Houston-Galveston Diocese...obviously part of the Catholic Student Center property. I wonder if the Catholic Church would consider selling or developing that land?

It's interesting to me that new retail is breaking ground by a private developer...not just UH. There is retail in the bottom of the new UH parking garage (right now just Sonic and McAlister's Deli), but it seems to me it's easier for UH to subsidize development if necessary. A private developer has to have the project stand on its own merits (it has to be profitable to develop). I think it's a good sign that a private developer is taking the initiative to develop this sign. Maybe we're finally reaching that "critical mass" necessary to attract more development on and around campus.

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"Critical mass"? It's the Art Briles affect ;-)

A long, long time ago it was supposed to be a Chilis/Bookstore/Cafe strip. But I think that was just one of those "feeler" proposals since that was about three years ago.

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It's interesting to me that new retail is breaking ground by a private developer...not just UH. There is retail in the bottom of the new UH parking garage (right now just Sonic and McAlister's Deli), but it seems to me it's easier for UH to subsidize development if necessary. A private developer has to have the project stand on its own merits (it has to be profitable to develop). I think it's a good sign that a private developer is taking the initiative to develop this sign. Maybe we're finally reaching that "critical mass" necessary to attract more development on and around campus.

Well that's nice to know but are you saying the land is not owned by UofH? We know what we get when we don't have regulations in place. I remember that Kinkos/Chili's/Starbucks center coog is talking about but looking at the other developments by Lovett, I was a little uninspired. The drawing looks nice on the surface though.

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I remember that Kinkos/Chili's/Starbucks center coog is talking about but looking at the other developments by Lovett, I was a little uninspired. The drawing looks nice on the surface though.

The drawing does look nice...but I just don't see that happening.

I'm curious if they'll be required to build on-site parking, since this is right next to an immense parking lot.

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Enrollment fall worries University of Houston leaders

Numbers raise questions about the effectiveness of recruitment efforts

Fewer students are attending UH than three years ago. The enrollment slump is a growing concern among campus leaders, and the numbers raise questions about the effectiveness of efforts by the aspiring research institution to recruit and retain more students. After peaking at 35,180 students in fall 2004, the university's enrollment has slipped by 2.4 percent. The 846-student decrease contrasts with 2 percent growth in enrollment statewide over the same period.

http://chron.com/disp/story.mpl/metropolit...ckCurrentPage=1

Not the greatest news.

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Not the greatest news, but it could be worse. I wouldn't be to worried. I'll probably go to UH.

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i agree, but to the provosts, even an 846 decrease in enrollment could be the start of financial issues.

i was surprised to read this, though:

UH began as a place for the children of the city's blue-collar workers to get an education, but too many students now leave for jobs before earning a degree. About one-fourth of the university's freshmen don't return for their sophomore year. And six years after entering UH, only 42 percent of freshmen will have earned degrees

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Do you think schools, such as UHCL and UHD effect the numbers at UH Main Campus? I've heard from several people that they got their first two years at HCC (cheaper) and the finished at UHCL. Several people would drive farther to get to UHCL just because the campus is two buildings and the parking is easier. Also a small drop in enrollment could be because of a spike in enrollment in the previous semesters. As far as Graduation rates, I don't know a good reason the number is so low...

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Enrollment fall worries University of Houston leaders

Numbers raise questions about the effectiveness of recruitment efforts

http://chron.com/disp/story.mpl/metropolit...ckCurrentPage=1

Not the greatest news.

It isn't really as bad as it looks. A lot of college students, particularly at UH and other second-tier urban universities, don't fit the traditional mold of a well-adjusted middle-class kid whose pre-determined destiny was to go to college and get a degree without having to work in anything more than a part-time job (if that). Many are first-generation college students and are very cognizant of the labor market. When times are good, they drop out and participate in a lucrative economy. When times are bad, they go to school. It also has a lot to do with interest rates, which correlate to the national economy.

It is interesting, actually, because the 2001-2002 national recession affected Houston the worst in 2003, and the local effect only caused enrollment to peak in 2004.

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If UH manages to open a campus in Northwest Harris County they'll have no problem with enrollment. Huge untapped market.

Edited by mrfootball

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As far as Graduation rates, I don't know a good reason the number is so low...

A recent publication of the National Center for Education Statistics examines the

effect of part-time enrollment on degree attainment. The complete report,

approximately 111 pages, can be ordered by writing to:

U.S. Department of Education

ED Pubs

P.O. Box 1398

Jessup, MD 20794-1398

or call toll free 1-877-4ED-Pubs or order online at http://www.edpubs.org.

The citation, executive summary, and one of the main findings follow below:

Chen, X. (2007). Part-Time Undergraduates in Postsecondary Education: 2003

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I don't think the NW campus would help UH's enrollment. The entire UH system has 50K plus as it is. This article is about the main campus.

The part-time equation will alwasys work against UH. USNWR uses that against UH in rankings.

I'd like to see part-timers at UHD/UH Sugar Land/UHCL and traditional students at the main camups. I actually think that is where UH is headed.

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This may not be a huge problem, but the article shows why the trend is not a good thing..."But size matters, campus leaders say, because Texas funds colleges and universities using a formula based primarily on enrollment growth."

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If UH manages to open a campus in Northwest Harris County they'll have no problem with enrollment. Huge untapped market.

UH Main enrollment numbers are completely seperate from UHCL, UHD. They are seperate schools with different standards. Even the degree plans vary a little. The different UH schools actually are competetors to one another. The only thing they have is in common is the computer e-services are connected. For example, if you owe money to one school you can't take classes at another.

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This may not be a huge problem, but the article shows why the trend is not a good thing..."But size matters, campus leaders say, because Texas funds colleges and universities using a formula based primarily on enrollment growth."

or better yet have an alumnus as the Governor of Texas.

Perry awards Texas A&M $5 million grant for biofuels initiative...... just the most recent favor I've heard about.

http://www.bizjournals.com/sanantonio/stor.../09/daily9.html

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or better yet have an alumnus as the Governor of Texas.

Perry awards Texas A&M $5 million grant for biofuels initiative...... just the most recent favor I've heard about.

http://www.bizjournals.com/sanantonio/stor.../09/daily9.html

Unless I see a complete list of funds given to different Texas schools, I think it's a little unfair to point that out and come to that conclusion.

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Unless I see a complete list of funds given to different Texas schools, I think it's a little unfair to point that out and come to that conclusion.

Here's a start...the PUF. Most UT and A&M System schools share in this fund, which is given over and above the equal "per-student" allotment from the state that each school gets. The University of Houston and Texas Tech Systems are prohibited by law from recieving funds from the PUF. According to the article below, UT and A&M now get something less than 10% of their budgets from the PUF. Increase UH's and TT's budgets by 10% a year like UT and A&M get, and you'll see a reduction the tuition increases and an increase in the quality of the schools, both in bricks and mortar and in the academic output.

I think UH and TT do a hell of a job without the tremendous subsidies that UT and A&M get. As I understand it, the PUF give each system something on the order of an extra $100 million per year that UH and TT don't get.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Permanent_University_Fund

The Permanent University Fund (PUF) is one of the methods the State of Texas funds its universities.

In 1876, the Texas Constitution formed the PUF, into which proceeds from leases and royalties on state land would be deposited. The discovery of huge oil reserves in the early 1900's dramatically increased the size of the PUF.

The PUF principal in fall 2005 was approximately $15 billion, second only to Harvard University's endowment. The PUF primarily serves The University of Texas System, which receives two thirds of its proceeds. The remaining third goes to the The Texas A&M University System. As of 2006, the University of Texas System received the fourth largest endowment in the nation, and the Texas A&M System received the tenth largest.

Other Texas public universities outside these two systems, notably University of Houston and Texas Tech University, are prohibited by law from sharing the income from this endowment. At one time, the PUF was the chief source of income for Texas A&M University and The University of Texas at Austin, but today its revenues account for less than ten percent of the universities' annual budgets. This has challenged both schools to increase sponsored research and private donations.

In 1984 voters amended the state constitution to expand the number of UT- and A&M-system schools benefiting from the proceeds of the PUF bonding program. The schools receiving help from the PUF thereafter included the University of Texas at Arlington, the University of Texas at Austin, the University of Texas at Dallas, the University of Texas at El Paso, the University of Texas of the Permian Basin, the University of Texas at San Antonio, the University of Texas at Tyler, the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas, the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, the University of Texas System Cancer Center, the University of Texas Health Center at Tyler, Texas A&M University, Prairie View A&M University, Tarleton State University, and Texas A&M University at Galveston.

Edited by Original Timmy Chan's

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Oops, I guess I misspoke earlier. I said that each system gets somewhere around $100 million per year from the PUF. Funds from the PUF are actually put into the AUF (Available Universities Fund), and then distributed to UT and A&M Systems. In any case, the $100 million per year was a little underestimated.

http://www.utsystem.edu/CONT/Reports_Publi...AUF/2006AUF.pdf

In FY 2007, the UT is budgeted to recieved over $281 MILLION from the AUF, and A&M will get over $136 MILLION.

In FY 2006, the UT system recieved over $255 MILLION and A&M recieved almost $123 MILLION. Those are ACTUAL figures, not budgeted.

Contrast that to UH and TT. Remember the "Excellence Funding" that both schools worked hard to get funded through the state legislature back in 2001? UH and TT lobbied for several years to get some additional "excellence funding" to try to catch up to UT and A&M. In the end, the state legislature did give UH all of about $13 million over 2 years, and TT about half of that, I believe. UH and TT were thrilled to get that paltry sum.

Of course, Rick Perry immediately line-item vetoed that funding, claiming budget problems...so no excellence funding for UH or TT. Then he immediately turned around and found $50 million from a discretionary "economic development fund" and gave it to UT-Dallas.

But I'm not bitter....nah... :wacko:

Edited by Original Timmy Chan's

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You speak the truth, Timmy.

The UT-D/Texas Instruments deal was a joke. Hard to imagine we have to bribe TI to keep research in Texas.

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I am bitter too.

It makes absolutely NO SENSE that we continue to fund schools after archaic guidelines established around 100 years ago back when there were no other public schools in Texas.

It's a disgrace. AND, it affects Longhorns and Aggies too by creating overcrowded conditions because there is a mindset that there are really only two options for top-quality public higher education. That's the main reason why UT and ATM continue to drop in the rankings. 34,000 full-time undergraduates is simply too many no matter how much money you have.

Texas needs to adopt the California system NOW. With top 50 schools at UC-Berkeley, UC-Los Angeles, UC-San Diego, UC-Irvine, UC-Davis, and UC-Santa Barbara with UC-Santa Cruz and UC-Riverside climbing towards the top 50 every year, they have an incredible system that makes multiple schools highly desireable to quality students. Full-time undergrad populations range from 12,000 to 23,000.

My ideal would have the following;

UT-Austin, UT-Dallas, UT-El Paso, UT-San Antonio, and UT-Pan Am would join Texas ATM, Texas Tech, and Houston as tier-one schools.

You'd have every major city/region covered with highly regarded public universities from Houston to El Paso and DFW to the Rio Grande Valley.

I'd cap undergrad enrollment at Texas and ATM at 30,000.

Houston and Tech could be capped around 25,000 to 28,000.

All the others should have undergrad numbers around 20,000.

It would be incredible for the state and for the state's most important feature; the cities. It would also be great for increasing opportunities in heavily Hispanic areas like El Paso and the RGV. With the demographics changing quite quickly, Texas simply needs to do a better job with educating Hispanics.

Edited by KinkaidAlum

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Here's a start...the PUF.

While that's very unfair, it doesn't validate his point that the Governor gives more money to A&M just because he's an alumni.

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While that's very unfair, it doesn't validate his point that the Governor gives more money to A&M just because he's an alumni.

If you require an overt confession from Captain Hairdo that his motivation for vetoing legislation that would provide UH and TT extra funding and turning around and giving 2x the amount to a PUF school is motivated by political or personal prejudices then continue to hold firmly to your skepticism. He's not be very bright, but he's isn't that dumb.

Their myopic focus on keeping A&M and UT #1 and #2 in the state academically and athletically for public institutions, is ultimately hurting the vast majority of Texans. It's really quite childishly selfish.

Let us not displace any piece of this socio-historical narrative.....UH has been viewed with extreme prejudice and disdain by alumni from A&M and UT for decades now, much of which has been due to the ethnic and racial diversity at UH and its more working class orientation. I couldn't tell you how many times I have heard "coogro high" coming from the mouths of the aforementioned alumni.

Edited by nyc_tex

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If you require an overt confession from Captain Hairdo that his motivation for vetoing legislation that would provide UH and TT extra funding and turning around and giving 2x the amount to a PUF school is motivated by political or personal prejudices then continue to hold firmly to your skepticism. He's not be very bright, but he's isn't that dumb.

Their myopic focus on keeping A&M and UT #1 and #2 in the state academically and athletically for public institutions, is ultimately hurting the vast majority of Texans. It's really quite childishly selfish.

Let us not displace any piece of this socio-historical narrative.....UH has been viewed with extreme prejudice and disdain by alumni from A&M and UT for decades now, much of which has been due to the ethnic and racial diversity at UH and its more working class orientation. I couldn't tell you how many times I have heard "coogro high" coming from the mouths of the aforementioned alumni.

That PUF was created in 1876. How come all the governors before him aren't being held accountalbe for not changing the system?

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Lockmat,

You are confusing three different systems. The PUF, Excellence Funding and The Economic Development Fund.

The economic development fund is Perry's own little invention. I think it has been used in Houston only once.

The PUF funds only UT and A&M.

And the Excellece Funding was created to placate UH and TT. And they only used it once.

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That PUF was created in 1876. How come all the governors before him aren't being held accountalbe for not changing the system?

I don't think you will find anyone relegating all the blame on Perry. Previous governors and congressional members are responsible as well, but the problem with that logic is they are no longer in power and currently can do nothing to change it. He has had many opportunities to ameliorate these inequalities and has done little to nothing to change the historical course of action. He has only perpetuated it.

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I was just responding to kw_uh7's #125 and timmy chans #127 posts. kw_uh7 said A&M regularly receives funding, insinuating that it gets more money because Perry is an alumni. That may or may not be true. All I wanted to see was some evidence.

Then Timmy Chan brought up the PUF, which really contains no bias unless you argue that he hasn't done anything to change it. And really, Timmy Chan's argument was not even based off the same premise as kw_uh7's anyway, so it was invalid.

Regardless, I agree with yall that number one, the PUF is totally unfair and not right, and that it also sucks and is not right that TT and UH don't get as much funding as UT and A&M.

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I am bitter too.

It makes absolutely NO SENSE that we continue to fund schools after archaic guidelines established around 100 years ago back when there were no other public schools in Texas.

It's a disgrace. AND, it affects Longhorns and Aggies too by creating overcrowded conditions because there is a mindset that there are really only two options for top-quality public higher education. That's the main reason why UT and ATM continue to drop in the rankings. 34,000 full-time undergraduates is simply too many no matter how much money you have.

Texas needs to adopt the California system NOW. With top 50 schools at UC-Berkeley, UC-Los Angeles, UC-San Diego, UC-Irvine, UC-Davis, and UC-Santa Barbara with UC-Santa Cruz and UC-Riverside climbing towards the top 50 every year, they have an incredible system that makes multiple schools highly desireable to quality students. Full-time undergrad populations range from 12,000 to 23,000.

My ideal would have the following;

UT-Austin, UT-Dallas, UT-El Paso, UT-San Antonio, and UT-Pan Am would join Texas ATM, Texas Tech, and Houston as tier-one schools.

You'd have every major city/region covered with highly regarded public universities from Houston to El Paso and DFW to the Rio Grande Valley.

I'd cap undergrad enrollment at Texas and ATM at 30,000.

Houston and Tech could be capped around 25,000 to 28,000.

All the others should have undergrad numbers around 20,000.

It would be incredible for the state and for the state's most important feature; the cities. It would also be great for increasing opportunities in heavily Hispanic areas like El Paso and the RGV. With the demographics changing quite quickly, Texas simply needs to do a better job with educating Hispanics.

someone with common sense!

now, if only the texas legislature, UT-A, and TAMU alums could see it this way.

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i hate strip centers.

rather have more 1st floor retail in dorms, or another parking garage

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I was just responding to kw_uh7's #125 and timmy chans #127 posts. kw_uh7 said A&M regularly receives funding, insinuating that it gets more money because Perry is an alumni. That may or may not be true. All I wanted to see was some evidence.

Then Timmy Chan brought up the PUF, which really contains no bias unless you argue that he hasn't done anything to change it. And really, Timmy Chan's argument was not even based off the same premise as kw_uh7's anyway, so it was invalid.

Regardless, I agree with yall that number one, the PUF is totally unfair and not right, and that it also sucks and is not right that TT and UH don't get as much funding as UT and A&M.

OK, this is silly, but here goes:

My #127 argument was a response to your #126 post: "Unless I see a complete list of funds given to different Texas schools, I think it's a little unfair to point that out and come to that conclusion." "That conclusion", meaning (from my interpretation of #125), that our state government FAVORS the UT and A&M System schools.

You asked for a complete list of funds given to different Texas schools, which I didn't provide, but I did provide the BIG fund that separates UT and A&M System schools from the "orphans" of state higher education funding.

My argument is not that Perry by himself is anti-UH, although his actions in 2001 were certainly questionable, but just that the PUF/AUF is patently biased.

I think we're arguing different things. I jumped into an argument I shouldn't have, to protest the unfair funding of both A&M and UT schools to the detriment of UH and TT (and other state schools).

The whole issue of UH losing state funds because of declining enrollment wouldn't be an issue at all if we were getting an extra $100-$250 million EVERY YEAR like UT and A&M.

For that matter, look at UT-Austin's declining enrollment from 2002-2005:

Fall 2002 enrollment: 52,261 (record)

Fall 2003 enrollment: 51,426

Fall 2004 enrollment: 50,377

Fall 2005 enrollment: 49,696

Is UT-Austin in trouble?!? Maybe the Houston Chronicle should get right on that story...nah, they could just disparage UH instead.

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Does anyone know what they are doing to the street in the middle of Calhoun?

My understanding is they're transplanting mature oak trees from the new dorm site on Calhoun to the median of Calhoun. Very nice, in my opinion...those are nice oaks that would have normally been lost. It's much cheaper to just knock 'em down, but UH cares...

And in response to Kyle, my understanding is that there will be ground-floor retail in the new dorm that's breaking ground on Calhoun. I believe the same goes for the new engineering building that will be started next year (sniff, goodbye Y building...)

I think new parking garages will also be in the works under the master plan. They'll have to be, if UH is going to double the square footage of it's educational buildings in the next 10-20 years without expanding the campus, while also increasing green space. Existing surface parking lots will be turned into dorms, teaching facilities and parking garages.

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OK, this is silly, but here goes:

My #127 argument was a response to your #126 post: "Unless I see a complete list of funds given to different Texas schools, I think it's a little unfair to point that out and come to that conclusion." "That conclusion", meaning (from my interpretation of #125), that our state government FAVORS the UT and A&M System schools.

You asked for a complete list of funds given to different Texas schools, which I didn't provide, but I did provide the BIG fund that separates UT and A&M System schools from the "orphans" of state higher education funding.

My argument is not that Perry by himself is anti-UH, although his actions in 2001 were certainly questionable, but just that the PUF/AUF is patently biased.

I think we're arguing different things. I jumped into an argument I shouldn't have, to protest the unfair funding of both A&M and UT schools to the detriment of UH and TT (and other state schools).

The whole issue of UH losing state funds because of declining enrollment wouldn't be an issue at all if we were getting an extra $100-$250 million EVERY YEAR like UT and A&M.

For that matter, look at UT-Austin's declining enrollment from 2002-2005:

Fall 2002 enrollment: 52,261 (record)

Fall 2003 enrollment: 51,426

Fall 2004 enrollment: 50,377

Fall 2005 enrollment: 49,696

Is UT-Austin in trouble?!? Maybe the Houston Chronicle should get right on that story...nah, they could just disparage UH instead.

I didn't know about the PUF, I'm glad you brought it up. Have people been making a stink about this to their reps? It's a no brainer to change it.

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I'm a UT and Tech alum, so I see it from two sides. At UT I was disgusted by how much money is wasted. At Tech, I was amazed at how far they could stretch the dollar. I fully support a total restructuring of the way Higher Education is financed in Texas. As it is now, it is completely provincial and very backwards-assed. The PUF and the HEF need to be put into one pot with no legal restraints on who gets funded. With tuition deregulation, scholarships have suffered as the available scholarship moneys are sucked up due to higher tuition costs. As you could imagine, this affects schools other than UT and A&M especially hard. Barring a full-on assault from the non-PUF schools or public outcry, I don't see much changing with the way PUF funds are alotted - especially with this Governor.

Aside from that, schools are just going to have to bootstrap it themselves. I see UH is about to embark on a capital campaign. Texas Tech Chancellor Kent Hance has set the goal for Tech's upcoming capital campaign at $1 Billion. They're wanting to grow the TTU endowment (which is presently valued at around $620M returning about 17%/year) and expand available scholarship money. Good timing as AT&T CEO, Ed Whitacre, just retired and has a couple of hundred million burning a hole in his pocket. Hance has also put forth a plan to grow Texas Tech's Lubbock campus to around 40,000 students by 2020 as well as expanding the Texas Tech University System. In the meantime, Tech added Angelo State University, a regional university with about 6,500 students along with it's relatively hefty endowment ($80M). ASU opted out of the Texas State System to join the TTU System during this legislative session and it appears Tech will add several more during the next session as there is talk of a major reshuffling.

The next legislative session will feature some major changes in Higher Education - so we'll see what happens.

Edited by mrfootball

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I am bitter too.

It makes absolutely NO SENSE that we continue to fund schools after archaic guidelines established around 100 years ago back when there were no other public schools in Texas.

It's a disgrace. AND, it affects Longhorns and Aggies too by creating overcrowded conditions because there is a mindset that there are really only two options for top-quality public higher education. That's the main reason why UT and ATM continue to drop in the rankings. 34,000 full-time undergraduates is simply too many no matter how much money you have.

Texas needs to adopt the California system NOW. With top 50 schools at UC-Berkeley, UC-Los Angeles, UC-San Diego, UC-Irvine, UC-Davis, and UC-Santa Barbara with UC-Santa Cruz and UC-Riverside climbing towards the top 50 every year, they have an incredible system that makes multiple schools highly desireable to quality students. Full-time undergrad populations range from 12,000 to 23,000.

My ideal would have the following;

UT-Austin, UT-Dallas, UT-El Paso, UT-San Antonio, and UT-Pan Am would join Texas ATM, Texas Tech, and Houston as tier-one schools.

You'd have every major city/region covered with highly regarded public universities from Houston to El Paso and DFW to the Rio Grande Valley.

I'd cap undergrad enrollment at Texas and ATM at 30,000.

Houston and Tech could be capped around 25,000 to 28,000.

All the others should have undergrad numbers around 20,000.

It would be incredible for the state and for the state's most important feature; the cities. It would also be great for increasing opportunities in heavily Hispanic areas like El Paso and the RGV. With the demographics changing quite quickly, Texas simply needs to do a better job with educating Hispanics.

I'm going to throw my hat into this ring both to try and understand the Texas Higher Education System and to explain the California Higher Education System. I understand the suggestion and sentiment of having UTAustin, Dallas, El Paso, San Antonio, and Pan-Am join Texas ATM, Texas Tech, and Houston as tier-one universities but wonder how the system would work since as I understand it these schools belong to different systems. I'm not saying it isn't possible just wondering how this would work since I thought the different systems had different governing boards.

I know quite a bit about the system in California because I've been on the faculty of one of the UC schools for a while now and my spouse has been a teacher in one of the California community colleges for the same amount of time. All of the UC Schools--Berkeley, Davis, LA, Irvine, San Diego, Santa Cruz, Santa Barbara, San Francisco, Riverside and now Merced, the newest UC campus- belong to the same system with the same Board of Regents. That doesn't mean that aren't distinctions among the campus, both in tems of programs, prestige and rank, but to my way of thinking, the differences among the UC campuses are not as sharp as it is among the the various Texas Systems.

Not to say that the California system doesn't contain a hierarchy; it does. Although all of the UC campuses provide a solid education and the individual campuses have different strengths-- if a student wanted to study agriculture the best UC campus for that is Davis whereas if a student wanted to study cognitive science, the best campus for that is San Diego--LA, Berkeley, SD, Davis are still considered to be the top schools with the others jockeying for a position in the prestige line-up. However, most of the hierachy exists in the three-tiered system with the UC sitting at the top. UCs receive more funding, charge higher fees, have higher admission standards, and can award the PhD than the California State University System. Although the California State University, the mid-level of the system receives less funding, charges lower fees, has lower admission standards that UCs and can only award the first two degrees- Bachelors and Masters Degrees, some of its campuses have programs that don't exist at UC, for example the Bachelors Degree in Architecture is only available at two Cal State Campuses. The third level-- the community colleges are open enrollment institutions that charge exceptionally low fees, award Associate Degrees and certificates in various fields. Each tier of the California System has its own governing board, and is charged with a specific mandate by the Regents, but because the system is all part of the larger system, it is possible for students to move among the three tiers with students moving from a community college where they might complete their lower division courses to one of the Cal State campuses or UC campuses.

I'm not touting the California System or saying it is wonderful because having been involved in it for many years, I am aware of its many shortcomings and problems, that may not be visible to ousiders, but I am wondering how Texas with its multiple university sytems, UT, A&M, Tech-- each one able to award PhDs which in the university world equals quite a bit of power and influence would ever agree to merge, cooperate or even agree to equal funding. We have a saying in the academy that the reason the politics are so vicious is because the stakes are so low.

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From Leroy Hermes, Chairman UH System Board of Regents:

The Houston Chronicle recently published an article regarding the University of Houston's enrollment. The following opinion editorial piece, which has been submitted to the newspaper, addresses the issues noted in the story and the questions and comments posed by readers on the Chronicle's online blog.

Houston, we have an opportunity.

The University of Houston is 80 years young, and has been a state university for just over 40 years. In its short history it has educated leaders for Houston, for Texas, and for the nation; and it has been home to many important scientific discoveries. We are flexible, aspiring to be even better, and determined to make this university a world-class asset for Houston and Texas. While we are changing, we find that sometimes it is a tough task to wrestle to the ground old, outdated impressions.

Today's University of Houston is not your father's or your grandmother's university. We are the state's next flagship university. We are being more selective in our admission standards. We are enhancing our academic and research programs. And we are changing our physical presence thanks to a new master plan that will result in a significant increase in resident students. Over the next twenty years, our alumni from past decades will hardly recognize us.

As Houston Chronicle reporter Matt Tresaugue's article outlined earlier this week, along with these changes has come a temporary enrollment dip. But there is more to the enrollment story than a decrease in the number of students.

The good news is that the number of UH freshmen in the top quartile of their high school graduating class has gone up more than 10 percent in the last few years. Our freshman applications are not only increasing, but also coming from across the state at a much higher level than five years ago. Recent high school graduates are seeing the University of Houston as a competitive university and a place with top programs and opportunities. As we raise our requirements, some students choose to go to other area universities and community colleges, returning to UH to complete their final two years. They are a strong and welcome addition to our student body.

I read the comments at the end of Mr. Tresaugue's online story with great interest, and I appreciate the number of Houstonians who took time to offer their support and to suggest areas of improvement for the University of Houston. It is worth noting a few of the issues the online readers raised.

Campus Safety: UH is safer than many college campuses across the state and country, and experiences fewer crimes each year than the Galleria area. We work hard to ensure everyone's safety with more than 300 monitored cameras across the campus, new lighting, increased foot and bicycle patrols, and emergency call boxes in every parking area.

Tuition: As a taxpayer and a regent, I am passionate about keeping costs as low as possible for our students. The Texas Legislature has determined that each university's governing board should set tuition for their respective institutions in order to build the higher education resources needed by the state's growing population. As a growing research university, we are strengthening our academic programs, and students are helping make that happen through tuition and fees. We work very hard to minimize increases and to identify new scholarship funding whenever we have a tuition increase.

Getting to Campus and Parking: We are partnering with Metro to bring increased bus and future rail services directly to campus. We opened our first multi-story parking garage last year and have another one on the books to open in 2008.

Bringing the University to the Student: We are working with suburban communities to bring our educational programs to outlying areas of Houston. We currently offer degree programs at Sugar Land, Cinco Ranch, and the Woodlands. Our attempt to bring UH to the Northwest area was temporarily stalled, but we are working diligently with the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board to bring degree programs to this burgeoning area.

Infrastructure and Administrative Issues: Many of the comments from readers indicated that our faculty members are held in high esteem. And a number of readers pointed out the dedication of many UH staff members. Nonetheless, the need for increased support for advising, financial aid, admissions, and other key student service areas is one we take very seriously. The Welcome Center, which opened last fall, was a first step in bringing enrollment and student services together in a customer-friendly setting. We will continue to find ways to improve these critical areas.

UH has come further and faster than any other university in the country. The bar is raised and the new University of Houston is under construction. Today's UH students and programs are more highly competitive than those of five years ago. If you believe you can compete at the new University of Houston, we are building something here that we hope you will investigate with a fresh pair of eyes: Houston, we have a new UH.

As chairman of the Board of Regents, I want to say this to prospective students, parents, teachers, and guidance counselors: as with some Texas universities, we are experiencing an enrollment lull that many experts think is partially caused by the vibrant Houston economy and the availability of jobs. But the most important story at the University of Houston has to do with our progress and evolution.

Look around and count the building cranes on the UH campus up a residence hall adding 1,000 new beds on campus, a new business school classroom building, a second architecture building, additional parking structures, and that is just the beginning changing. So Houston, send us all the bright young people you have. Send us students who want to experience a traditional campus life. Send us students who are young married parents, working in a bank or a business and wanting to get ahead with an MBA at hours that work for them. Send us every waiter and part-time worker in town with a passion for learning and a desire to become the first in their family to finish college. And send us your National Merit Scholars who are looking for an education second to none. We have a place for each and every one of them on a UH campus undergoing a moment of profound transformation guided by a master plan and a set of strategic goals that call for raising the bar for everyone who can make their way to this campus. We are forging a University of Houston to meets the needs of an ambitious city and state. It is an ongoing process for there is never an end to the building of a great university and, in this case, the building of a great flagship university for Texas right here in Houston. We invite you to be part of our success story.

Leroy Hermes, Chairman UH System Board of Regents

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As chairman of the Board of Regents, I want to say this to prospective students, parents, teachers, and guidance counselors: as with some Texas universities, we are experiencing an enrollment lull that many experts think is partially caused by the vibrant Houston economy and the availability of jobs. But the most important story at the University of Houston has to do with our progress and evolution.

Either Leroy has been reading The Niche's posts, or Leroy IS The Niche! :lol:

Seriously, though...nice writeup by Leroy. I'm glad we have someone like him getting our message out. The message still needs to be louder and clearer, though. UH and its alumni still suffer from some kind of inferiority complex.

I know I worked every bit as hard to get my engineering degree as did anyone from UT-Austin or Texas A&M. I certainly don't feel inferior in any way to graduates of those schools.

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Thanks to all for restoring some calmness into this thread and I apologize for casting the first stone. Last time I posted was early in the morning, I had not had my coffee, noticed the article and decided to get snippy. My apologies lock(sp).

Thanks Midtown and the Original for providing support since my post. The line item vetoes I read about, I think it was approximately 10 million vetoed that was to cover approximately 5-7 tier 2 universities including TT and UH. Then within a month http://www.statesman.com/news/content/news...706hinotes.html

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After going back and reading the post I have to extend my thanks to kinkaid and nyc_tx for the support and also lockmat for bringing the discussion.

However what I do feel is just as (if not the most important) to UH, is the development of the Third ward. The vitality of the sorrounding neighborhoods. The development on Calhoun is nice and welcomed, but there is no development along Scottt street or Elgin. I know the rail is going to go along both streets but there is no developement going up. Just townhome construction in east end and just east of 288 towards Dowling St.

Some day I hope students will want to stick around after they graduate, live within the neighborhood and raise families. Oh well, I can only hope.

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After going back and reading the post I have to extend my thanks to kinkaid and nyc_tx for the support and also lockmat for bringing the discussion.

However what I do feel is just as (if not the most important) to UH, is the development of the Third ward. The vitality of the sorrounding neighborhoods. The development on Calhoun is nice and welcomed, but there is no development along Scottt street or Elgin. I know the rail is going to go along both streets but there is no developement going up. Just townhome construction in east end and just east of 288 towards Dowling St.

Some day I hope students will want to stick around after they graduate, live within the neighborhood and raise families. Oh well, I can only hope.

I didn't see any stones flying around. I'm just a stickler for what's correct. Had you not raised the issue, it may not have come up.

The posts about this topic have been very educational for me and I appreciate them.

Midtown...is that some alumni newsletter you got that from?

I'm not so sure that a not so great neighborhood is exclusive to UH, not that you said it was. But the neighborhood right around UNM here in Albuquerque isn't that great either. There are some nice houses close by, but there's a good bit of housing/people in others that aren't so hot. But much of it are rentals and students as well. USCalifornia is pretty much downtown, isn't it? For some reason I have a thought in my head that it's not so nice around there either. Not sure.

I would just like to change the people surrounding the campus; not replace them. Not that education changes people, but it can help. Morality I think is the number one thing that changes people. But at the same time, morality won't change the blight that people don't like that's surrounding the campus. And let me also say what I'm not saying. I'm not saying that all the people around there are bad, criminals or anything else. But we also can't deny some of the safety concerns that some of those area residents bring. Or has the area changed? Or am I just ignorant?

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USCalifornia is pretty much downtown, isn't it? For some reason I have a thought in my head that it's not so nice around there either. Not sure.

USC's main campus is in the West Adams neighbohood approximately 2 miles

southwest of downtown LA. WA was once one of LA's richest neighborhoods. In the 20's when whites began moving to other areas, affluent African Americans began moving into WA and for several decades WA was home to affluent AAs. Over time as affluent AA moved to other areas of the city, WA became home to large numbers of working class AA who were followed by the growing Latino population. The areas contains houses of varied architectural styles. Currently, various sections of WA are being gentrified with people purchasing and restoring the houses.

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USC's main campus is in the West Adams neighbohood approximately 2 miles

southwest of downtown LA. WA was once one of LA's richest neighborhoods. In the 20's when whites began moving to other areas, affluent African Americans began moving into WA and for several decades WA was home to affluent AAs. Over time as affluent AA moved to other areas of the city, WA became home to large numbers of working class AA who were followed by the growing Latino population. The areas contains houses of varied architectural styles. Currently, various sections of WA are being gentrified with people purchasing and restoring the houses.

USC is known as the University of South Central. That doesn't come as a huge compliment in L.A.

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