Staff voice concerns about parking, tuition
Parking, tuition hikes and PeopleSoft 8.9 were among the issues UH Staff Council addressed Tuesday.
"The staff (here) works in a collegial environment," UH Interim President John Rudley said after the meeting. "We work hard to make sure students have a positive experience. We’re not perfect, but we’re open to suggestions and we hope they will be patient (with us)."
Staff council also addressed campus parking problems. Traffic on campus is expected to become less problematic with the addition of the University Line of MetroRail along Cullen Boulevard, which is scheduled to begin in 2009, Rudley said.
The Metro Board of Directors approved rail plans Thursday, although a construction schedule was not unveiled, The Daily Cougar reported Monday.
The rail will offer students more transportation and help ease the traffic problem, Rudley said.
Rudley also said he hopes the rail will eliminate the daily traffic of 12,000 vehicles along Cullen to promote a more pedestrian-friendly campus. The board approved the closure of portions of Cullen and Holman Avenue in May to control traffic around the University as part of the UH master plan.
Another concern faculty raised was rising tuition costs.
Rudley said he was confident students would not feel any financial strain with another raise in tuition and fees such as the 6.9 percent hike approved by the UH System Board of Regents in June.
"We’re going to try to keep tuition as low as possible," he said.
The funding UH receives depends on enrollment, which he hopes will increase by three percent by next summer, he said.
Staff council members also voiced concerns about the switch to PeopleSoft, which began this fall. Despite complaints about the software change, some members said they are confident students will not experience problems with PeopleSoft by the summer.
Administration officials at the meeting said more meetings were necessary for better communication.
"I would encourage more staff to attend meetings because they are informative and they give people a chance to ask questions to people who actually have the answers," Marli Bober, executive director of Payroll Services, said.
Theodore Kelly, special assistant to the vice president of Administration and Finance, also said the meeting was very informative.
"I think the meeting went very well – the answers were forward and truthful and we touched on all the current issues," Kelly said.