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Okay, so here's a look at the progress now.

Calhoun Lofts appears to have gotten a lot of exterior work done on it.

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Especially on this side (towards Law Center)

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Here's an empty lot across from Calhoun Lofts. It's apparently privately owned, and the retail advisors, Page Partners have a sign prominently displayed in front of it. Visiting their website, they have some info on it, and call it the "Cougar Den Plaza". Let's hope they actually do something with this soon, as it's really a premium location for retail.

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Across from Melcher Hall, right outside the parking lot also on Calhoun I saw this sign marking the location for the "East Parking Garage".

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And finally, here's what's going on with the new Michael J. Cemo Hall. It's really just a pile of dirt out there. I'm sad that they hadn't done more. Maybe there's just a lot that you can't see.

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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    

UH new Fertitta center

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This may be old news to some, but UH Regents have approved a new undergraduate dorm to be built between the Towers and the Quad on Wheeler St. The dorm will house almost 1,100 students. This is in addition to the 1,000 new beds at the Calhoun Lofts that are nearing completion.

From the scuttlebutt I've heard, the next move will be to knock down the Cougar Place efficiencies at the corner of Cullen and Wheeler and replace them with another new dorm.

The leadership at UH has taken to heart the idea to build alumni pride (and donations) by putting more students on campus. Those that live on campus are more likely than commuters to build strong ties to the university and become committed alumni.

"In Time"

http://www.uh.edu/uhtoday/2009/02feb/02190...enovations.html

February 19, 2009

REGENTS APPROVE NEW RESIDENCE HALL, RENOVATIONS TO DINING FACILITIES

The University of Houston System Board of Regents recently approved two major construction projects that will play key roles in building a stronger "Cougar Nation."

The regents approved a new undergraduate residence hall and a major renovation to Moody Towers

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As of today they have done mostly utility excavation at the Cemo site, and are beginning to build the formwork and lay the hot & cool water pipes coming from the central plant. I'll get pics next week. They are also starting to level grade the parking garage across from the Calhoun Lofts.

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They could spend 100 billion dollars on a new dorm, but it's still Aramark food service.

Uh, you been to campus lately??? The food is a hell of a lot better than it was when I was a student (I work there now). With all the new restaurants like Chili's McAlister's Sonic and the Pita place in the UC, UH has worked very hard to improve options. They're about to sign a deal where Cougar Cash can be used at EVERY campus eatery too. The Cafeteria food is really imporving... especially when the full student population is around.

Great news about the new dorms... this is deserately needed, b/c Cougar Place is just holding us back!

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I dunno...if whatever replaces Cougar Place is more expensive, then I think it's a bad idea.

Edit: also, because it's already such a crowded campus, I think the school should look into building dorms (particularly upperclassman and grad student dorms, since those are the most likely to be tired of campus living) off-campus along the proposed LRT route and save space on-campus for academic buildings and stuff like that.

Edited by N Judah
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I dunno...if whatever replaces Cougar Place is more expensive, then I think it's a bad idea.

Edit: also, because it's already such a crowded campus, I think the school should look into building dorms (particularly upperclassman and grad student dorms, since those are the most likely to be tired of campus living) off-campus along the proposed LRT route and save space on-campus for academic buildings and stuff like that.

the new calhoun lofts are for grad students, and i'm pretty sure if they dont get enough grad students they will open it up for upperclass man as well.. also there is a plan in the works to build new dorms off of wheeler in the summer so UH is definantly making an effort to increase the on campus population

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http://www.jedunn.com/project-details/C/5/100608

This project is a new two-story, 30,000 SF lecture hall. The building contains a state-of-the-art, 400-seat auditorium, three 80-seat lecture rooms, a testing center, and a career center. The exterior skin of the building consists of brick and limestone masonry. There is a utility tunnel that will connect to the existing University of Houston tunnel system. This project is currently designed to be LEED

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I wonder what stores they will have at the base of the Calhoun Lofts? I'm getting tired of the current food offerings. A Chipotle would be nice.

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Why is UH building dorms? Why is UH building a parking garage on the side of campus that serves the Biz and Law schools? Why is UH building retail options on that side of campus that also houses the new Rec Center, Greek Row, and Moody Towers? Doesn't UH know that it needs to be building things for the Dynamo?

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Why is UH building dorms? Why is UH building a parking garage on the side of campus that serves the Biz and Law schools? Why is UH building retail options on that side of campus that also houses the new Rec Center, Greek Row, and Moody Towers? Doesn't UH know that it needs to be building things for the Dynamo?

Beacause it C-A-N!!!!!!

And no... the Dynamo need to GTFO from UofH so that they can achieve the dream of having their own stadium (and bring more revenues into the East End).

Edited by totheskies
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A $50 million undergraduate housing construction project at the University of Houston has been awarded to Hardin Construction Company, an Atlanta, Georgia-based company with a branch office in Austin. The seven-story, 300,000-square-foot building on the university's central campus will accommodate incoming freshmen and is tied to the university's goal to increase the campus residential population and, ultimately, to house the entire first-year class in campus residences.

The facility will include rooms for 1,172 beds, resident advisor offices, a social lounge, computer lab, multi-purpose rooms, fitness room, and a convenience store.

It is the first time since 1970 that a residential facility will be dedicated specifically for freshmen, according to University officials. Construction is scheduled to begin in June and completed by fall 2010.

http://www.prweb.com/releases/2009/05/prweb2442384.htm

Edited by lockmat
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A $50 million undergraduate housing construction project at the University of Houston has been awarded to Hardin Construction Company, an Atlanta, Georgia-based company with a branch office in Austin. The seven-story, 300,000-square-foot building on the university's central campus will accommodate incoming freshmen and is tied to the university's goal to increase the campus residential population and, ultimately, to house the entire first-year class in campus residences.

The facility will include rooms for 1,172 beds, resident advisor offices, a social lounge, computer lab, multi-purpose rooms, fitness room, and a convenience store.

It is the first time since 1970 that a residential facility will be dedicated specifically for freshmen, according to University officials. Construction is scheduled to begin in June and completed by fall 2010.

http://www.prweb.com/releases/2009/05/prweb2442384.htm

Thanks for the good news. I'm guessing that this will be the new facility on Wheeler Avenue.

Edited by Brian Reading
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Thanks for the good news. I'm guessing that this will be the new facility on Wheeler Avenue.

Is it shown on a master plan map? I need to find it...

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A $50 million undergraduate housing construction project at the University of Houston has been awarded to Hardin Construction Company, an Atlanta, Georgia-based company with a branch office in Austin. The seven-story, 300,000-square-foot building on the university's central campus will accommodate incoming freshmen and is tied to the university's goal to increase the campus residential population and, ultimately, to house the entire first-year class in campus residences.

Is that a goal? Why?

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Is that a goal? Why?

Well, basically the goal is to have enough housing for 25% of the campus population, which is apparently what's necessary to be designated a residential campus.

Which means the goal is for 11,000 beds, since enrollment is expected to grow to 40k+ or so.

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Well, basically the goal is to have enough housing for 25% of the campus population, which is apparently what's necessary to be designated a residential campus.

Which means the goal is for 11,000 beds, since enrollment is expected to grow to 40k+ or so.

I'm pretty sure that freshmen make up >25% of the student population. Also, it sounded to me like they were going to set a policy that all freshmen must live on campus the first year? Why?

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Did we ever hear results out of the bid for the state funding tier upgrade?
The Constitutional amendment will be put to a state-wide vote in November 2009, and we plan to engage the support of our alumni, our community leaders, and the UH System family in a drive to educate voters on what additional Tier One universities will mean in terms of economic growth for Texas. We are hopeful voters will pass the amendment.
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I'm pretty sure that freshmen make up >25% of the student population. Also, it sounded to me like they were going to set a policy that all freshmen must live on campus the first year? Why?

Gets more students involved with UH, more school pride, closer ties to UH, etc. Having came from Texas State U. where they require all freshman to live on campus it does really make the "college experience" more worthwhile.

Has anyone heard about UHs tier 1 status? Any updates?

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Gets more students involved with UH, more school pride, closer ties to UH, etc. Having came from Texas State U. where they require all freshman to live on campus it does really make the "college experience" more worthwhile.

Can that be quantified in terms of academic performance or compensation after graduation? Can it at least be shown to translate to more generous alumni donations?

I can only speak for myself, but the freedom to live off campus was a primary factor for me going to UH instead of a different second-tier school.

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I can only speak for myself, but the freedom to live off campus was a primary factor for me going to UH instead of a different second-tier school.

I can't imagine that UH has plans to force all Freshmen to live on campus in the future. I haven't deduced that from anything that I've read, and it makes very little sense that they would try to force people to live on campus. UH is--and has been for a long time--largely a commuter school. Furthermore, it's located in a terrible part of town, and the university hasn't been very successful in mitigating the effects of living in such an undesirable area.

Thus, forcing all all freshmen to live on campus? Makes very little sense.

But, building more dorms and greatly improving the "livability" and safety of campus? Makes a lot of sense. And that's how most universities (that I'm familiar with) do it. I would imagine that is UH's goal as well, but admittedly I do not know.

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Can that be quantified in terms of academic performance or compensation after graduation? Can it at least be shown to translate to more generous alumni donations?

I can only speak for myself, but the freedom to live off campus was a primary factor for me going to UH instead of a different second-tier school.

I am sure it can be quantified in terms of academic performance and alumni donations but you can google things just as easily as I could. From what I've heard UH doesn't a strong alumni association.

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I can only speak for myself, but the freedom to live off campus was a primary factor for me going to UH instead of a different second-tier school.

Many universities that otherwise require freshmen to live on campus allow people who live in the university's metropolitan area to commute from home. I bet UH may require first year people who do not live in the Houston area to live in dormitories.

Furthermore, it's located in a terrible part of town, and the university hasn't been very successful in mitigating the effects of living in such an undesirable area.

UH seems to be at a crossroads between a totally run-down part of town and several well-kept areas. It's like a patchwork quilt.

Edited by VicMan
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I am sure it can be quantified in terms of academic performance and alumni donations but you can google things just as easily as I could.

Nah, you advanced the idea so I'm gonna let you support it. Have fun.

From what I've heard UH doesn't a strong alumni association.

It doesn't. Does TSU? How about Sam Houston State or Stephen F. Austin? And if they do have a strong alumni association, how's that working out for them?

Maybe UH is just better-run, but from where I sit, they've done really well in terms of academics and facilities in spite of not having a mandatory on-campus residency policy of any kind. And their reputation is vastly better than it used to be.

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Nah, you advanced the idea so I'm gonna let you support it. Have fun.

It doesn't. Does TSU? How about Sam Houston State or Stephen F. Austin? And if they do have a strong alumni association, how's that working out for them?

Maybe UH is just better-run, but from where I sit, they've done really well in terms of academics and facilities in spite of not having a mandatory on-campus residency policy of any kind. And their reputation is vastly better than it used to be.

This is what the Chancellor and President of UH sent out to all the students and faculty through email:

Dear Colleagues and Friends,

I want to share some very, very good news with you today. After all of our hard work in letter writing, testifying, visiting legislators in Austin, and earning community support, we can declare victory in our efforts to secure a pathway for the University of Houston to attain Tier One status.

Late last night, the Texas Legislature passed two historic bills - the Constitutional amendment that creates the fund needed to finance top-tier research by UH and all the state's emerging research universities, and the enabling legislation that provides a pathway to access those funds. The enabling legislation still awaits the Governor's signature before it becomes law.

The Constitutional amendment will be put to a state-wide vote in November 2009, and we plan to engage the support of our alumni, our community leaders, and the UH System family in a drive to educate voters on what additional Tier One universities will mean in terms of economic growth for Texas. We are hopeful voters will pass the amendment.

My admiration and gratitude go to members of our UH System Board of Regents, most notably Chairman Welcome W. Wilson, Sr., and Regent Nelda Luce Blair, who devoted many hundreds of hours of their own time to be in Austin at crucial times during the session. I also want to congratulate our legislative team in Austin - Vice Chancellor for Governmental Relations Grover Campbell and Assistant Vice Chancellor Laura Calfee - for their steadfast commitment, brilliant leadership, and considerable talents in presenting our case before our legislators.

And I especially want to thank our legislative delegation. They stood strongly with us and provided invaluable leadership and support that made passage of these two key bills possible.

Building upon this constitutional and legislative foundation, the University of Houston will be in the strongest position ever to complete our Tier One journey.

I want to thank all of you who wrote our legislators, or called them, or helped in any way. I am proud of you and your efforts. Now, let's set our sights on getting the constitutional amendment passed next November.

Warm Regards,

Renu Khator

GO COOGS!

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Sounds like there may be other institutions eligible for the Tier One status. Anybody know which ones?

The other eligible institutions are UT-Arlington, UT-Dallas, UTEP, UTSA, UNT, and Texas Tech.

That's a lot of UT System schools, who are already sharing in the $12 Billion PUF funds that none of UH, UNT or TT have access to.

Also...read the breakdown below of the $680 million "Tier One" funding. The bulk of that funding ($425M) would come from the HEF fund that was supposed to be funding the non-PUF schools. So basically we're stealing from the poor (HEF schools) to give to the poor AND the rich (PUF schools).

On top of that, the Lege says UT-Austin and A&M-College Station are eligible to share in $126 million of the Tier One funds. Those schools already get an extra $400 million a year from the PUF!

As a UH alum, I'm happy to see UH POTENTIALLY get access to greater funding...but I don't like the way Texas is going about it.

http://www.star-telegram.com/local_news/story/1413474.html

Tier 1 The Legislature has set up a $680 million package that would allow seven state-designated "emerging" universities to become the next major research institution. They include UT-Arlington, UNT and UT-Dallas. The funding would be set up as follows:

$425 million. Voters will be asked in November whether to redirect money in the state Higher Education Fund to creating Tier 1 institutions. To compete, a university would have to spend at least $45 million a year on research and be designated an emerging institution. It would also need to fulfill four of the six criteria: Award at least 200 doctorates a year; be recognized for scholarship and research; have an endowment of at least $400 million; have high-achieving freshman classes; have a high-quality faculty; and have excellent graduate schools. The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board would define the criteria, such as for a high-achieving freshman class.

$126 million. Research University Development Fund. The seven emerging universities and UT-Austin and Texas A&M can compete for this matching money. The money would be awarded based on how much money the schools spend on research.

$80 million. Texas Centers of Excellence Fund. Money would be awarded based on the number of at-risk students enrolled, graduation rates and degrees awarded to students majoring in math, science, engineering, nursing and other high-need fields.

$50 million. Texas Research Incentives Program. This program would be open only to emerging universities. Grants would be awarded based on the money a school raises for research and faculty recruitment. A school that receives at least $2 million would get a 100 percent match; a school that receives between $100,000 and $999,999 would get a 50 percent match.

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Nah, you advanced the idea so I'm gonna let you support it. Have fun.

Haha. I really could care less whether you believe me or not and I really don't care about searching the web to validate something trivial on an internet forum. Furthermore, I don't keep up with UH's policy so I don't know if they are requiring freshman to live on campus and I was just responding to your query with my opinions based on my experience. So I am having fun, thank you.

It doesn't. Does TSU? How about Sam Houston State or Stephen F. Austin? And if they do have a strong alumni association, how's that working out for them?

Maybe UH is just better-run, but from where I sit, they've done really well in terms of academics and facilities in spite of not having a mandatory on-campus residency policy of any kind. And their reputation is vastly better than it used to be.

How about UT, A&M, and Texas Tech, I wonder how there alumni association is doing compared to UH? How about LSU or USC?

I will agree from what I've heard the UH is doing much better than previously, but I still hear remarks about Cougar High and commuter school. Furthermore, from what I've heard UH doesn't want to known or considered as a commuter school, especially as it goes after tier 1 status. How many commuter schools aren't recognized nationally? I don't see how having a larger on campus student population would do any harm, except maybe UH will become more of a party school (which can be good or bad depending on who you ask). It probably will even attract a better quality of freshman. The exception is you though, who apparantely wanted to go to a commuter school. Somehow I doubt most high schools seniors are clamoring to get away from home to go to a commuter school in Houston. But what do I know huh?

Edited by kdog08
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How about UT, A&M, and Texas Tech, I wonder how there alumni association is doing compared to UH? How about LSU or USC?

I will agree from what I've heard the UH is doing much better than previously, but I still hear remarks about Cougar High and commuter school. Furthermore, from what I've heard UH doesn't want to known or considered as a commuter school, especially as it goes after tier 1 status. How many commuter schools aren't recognized nationally? I don't see how having a larger on campus student population would do any harm, except maybe UH will become more of a party school (which can be good or bad depending on who you ask).

I've got a niece going to UT as a freshman and she's living in an apartment way off-campus. I don't see that particular freedom as something that detracts from the school's reputation. And in the context of other universities, both which do or do not allow freshmen to live off campus, UH holds its own pretty well.

But to be clear, being informally considered a "commuter school" is not the same thing as allowing freshmen to have choice in their housing situation. UH's reputation is complicated, and it actually varies by ethnicity. I've been told that it is reputed as a party school among South Asians, but that wasn't my experience at all...nor did I want that to be my experience. Having said that, my commute from off-campus was only a few miles and could've been pulled off by bus if I didn't prefer to work instead of racking up student debt. I had the option to live on campus, but it was too expensive and didn't make any sense for me. I got a much better deal off-campus. If the situation is similar for present freshmen going to UH, then I don't see that they'd be done a favor by being denied the option to live off-campus. And if the new housing is being subsidized by funds that could've been routed to other university programs, then they're losing out too.

I don't find anything wrong with on-campus housing, but I do think that people ought to have a choice to live there and I don't think that it ought to be considered a priority over just about any other program that UH might offer instead.

It probably will even attract a better quality of freshman. The exception is you though, who apparantely wanted to go to a commuter school. Somehow I doubt most high schools seniors are clamoring to get away from home to go to a commuter school in Houston. But what do I know huh?

It's unfortunate that this is the case, but if UH wants to increase its appeal and make it a first-choice school the way that UT and A&M already are, it needs to vastly improve the reputation of its football program. High school seniors (on the whole) respond to brand awareness that is tied to pop culture rather than academics.

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I've got a niece going to UT as a freshman and she's living in an apartment way off-campus. I don't see that particular freedom as something that detracts from the school's reputation. And in the context of other universities, both which do or do not allow freshmen to live off campus, UH holds its own pretty well.

But to be clear, being informally considered a "commuter school" is not the same thing as allowing freshmen to have choice in their housing situation. UH's reputation is complicated, and it actually varies by ethnicity. I've been told that it is reputed as a party school among South Asians, but that wasn't my experience at all...nor did I want that to be my experience. Having said that, my commute from off-campus was only a few miles and could've been pulled off by bus if I didn't prefer to work instead of racking up student debt. I had the option to live on campus, but it was too expensive and didn't make any sense for me. I got a much better deal off-campus. If the situation is similar for present freshmen going to UH, then I don't see that they'd be done a favor by being denied the option to live off-campus. And if the new housing is being subsidized by funds that could've been routed to other university programs, then they're losing out too.

I don't find anything wrong with on-campus housing, but I do think that people ought to have a choice to live there and I don't think that it ought to be considered a priority over just about any other program that UH might offer instead.

It's unfortunate that this is the case, but if UH wants to increase its appeal and make it a first-choice school the way that UT and A&M already are, it needs to vastly improve the reputation of its football program. High school seniors (on the whole) respond to brand awareness that is tied to pop culture rather than academics.

Dang it's 4AM and I'm responding to a forum, this job market sucks for newly graduates, even biology graduates. What it comes down to is brand awareness, which UH just doesn't have in my opinion. UH isn't on the same level as Texas Tech, UT, and A&M in my mind and I would wager a sum of money most Texans would feel the same way. To be clear, I'm not advocating that all freshman should be required to live on campus but advocating that UH should do more to promote more students living on campus by building more dorms or whatever they want to call them.

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Good to hear that UH has secured its way to tier 1 status.

Not even close to secure, in my mind.

The legislation hasn't been signed by Rick Perry, and he seems to have a particular grudge against UH.

Once the legislation is signed, then it's up to the voters of Texas to pass a Constitutional Amendment in November to allow for the Tier One funds.

And...like I said, most of those Tier One funds are being taken from a fund that's already supposed to benefit UH and Texas Tech (and TSU, TSU, SHSU, SFA, etc.) and it's going to be opened up to be shared by UT System schools that are already funded by a different, vastly larger fund.

That's why I said, although UH will stand to benefit, we're just robbing the poor to pay the rich.

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Dang it's 4AM and I'm responding to a forum, this job market sucks for newly graduates, even biology graduates. What it comes down to is brand awareness, which UH just doesn't have in my opinion. UH isn't on the same level as Texas Tech, UT, and A&M in my mind and I would wager a sum of money most Texans would feel the same way. To be clear, I'm not advocating that all freshman should be required to live on campus but advocating that UH should do more to promote more students living on campus by building more dorms or whatever they want to call them.

I feel you about the job search. I've got multiple heavily-quantitative degrees and a bunch of work experience, and I'm in the same boat.

I agree about the problem, namely poor brand awareness. But I question whether dormitories are the appropriate advertising vehicle to promote brand awareness. UH is very easily on par with and in some areas handily exceeds Texas Tech's offerings. The only discernible reason Texas Tech gets more press is because of their football program.

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Not even close to secure, in my mind.

The legislation hasn't been signed by Rick Perry, and he seems to have a particular grudge against UH.

Once the legislation is signed, then it's up to the voters of Texas to pass a Constitutional Amendment in November to allow for the Tier One funds.

And...like I said, most of those Tier One funds are being taken from a fund that's already supposed to benefit UH and Texas Tech (and TSU, TSU, SHSU, SFA, etc.) and it's going to be opened up to be shared by UT System schools that are already funded by a different, vastly larger fund.

That's why I said, although UH will stand to benefit, we're just robbing the poor to pay the rich.

Ah I see your point. Well does anyone know how Cali funds their universities, they have the most tier 1 universities in the country (I believe NY is second)? CA is definitely not a fiscal model but maybe they could give us some ideas on how to expand our system.

I feel you about the job search. I've got multiple heavily-quantitative degrees and a bunch of work experience, and I'm in the same boat.

I agree about the problem, namely poor brand awareness. But I question whether dormitories are the appropriate advertising vehicle to promote brand awareness. UH is very easily on par with and in some areas handily exceeds Texas Tech's offerings. The only discernible reason Texas Tech gets more press is because of their football program.

I wouldn't say dormitories are a means of advertising but part of the means to achieve some of the goals laid out by the President. Having a larger on-campus student population can create lots of opportunities for UH. The two years I spent in the dorms were great, the school really had a lot programs to promote social ties among students and various school run activities. I think it stands to reason if you are living on campus you are more likely to become involved with school activities.

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I think getting more students living on campus is part of a long term attempt by UH to get students more involved on campus, and build stronger ties to the campus & other students that will result in a more active alumni pool.

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I wouldn't say dormitories are a means of advertising but part of the means to achieve some of the goals laid out by the President. Having a larger on-campus student population can create lots of opportunities for UH. The two years I spent in the dorms were great, the school really had a lot programs to promote social ties among students and various school run activities. I think it stands to reason if you are living on campus you are more likely to become involved with school activities.

I still fail to understand how dormitories as a budgetary priority is fitting with any aspect of UH's mission as a university. It's not that they aren't nice to have, it's that there are 1) better programmatic uses of the funds, and 2) way to achieve better bang for the buck with respect to a program enhancing brand awareness.

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I think getting more students living on campus is part of a long term attempt by UH to get students more involved on campus, and build stronger ties to the campus & other students that will result in a more active alumni pool.

I still want to see research linking dormitory use with alumni donations. Even if there is significant alumni giving as a consequence of dormitory use, which I am dubious of, it seems like the rate of alumni giving would peak 20 to 30 years after a person graduates. Consider that the discounted value of $100 at 5% interest 25 years from now is only $29.53.

Opportunity cost is a b.i.t.c.h.

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I still fail to understand how dormitories as a budgetary priority is fitting with any aspect of UH's mission as a university. It's not that they aren't nice to have, it's that there are 1) better programmatic uses of the funds, and 2) way to achieve better bang for the buck with respect to a program enhancing brand awareness.

Maybe if they intend to actually be tier 1 as the money indicates they should be, the tier 1 type students they'll get won't all be from around Houston, so they'll need affordable housing to put them in?

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Maybe if they intend to actually be tier 1 as the money indicates they should be, the tier 1 type students they'll get won't all be from around Houston, so they'll need affordable housing to put them in?

At such time as they actually have Tier One funds, and at such time as they are increasing their enrollment as a consequence of greater brand awareness outside of Houston, then it might make sense to develop more student housing. Don't put the cart before the horse.

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