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Friday, September 22, 2023


Faculty Senate: Administrators target undecided students

UH administrators said Faculty Senate should be more involved in retaining and supporting undergraduate students and focus on research initiatives.

In a meeting Wednesday, Vice President of Academic Affairs Donald Foss said that the amount of University Studies students should decrease with the help of faculty assistance.

In December, Foss said that 5,223 students have not declared a major and are in the University Studies division.

He said that Sen. Dan Wells should chair the initiative to focus on student recruitment and retention so that undergraduates are letter informed of degree requirements.

Foss also said in December that Faculty Senate should help decrease the number of University Studies students by 47,000, or 90 percent, in 2008. Foss said that by faculty providing undergraduates with information on the requirements necessary for an individual college and having incoming students declare a major after 45 academic hours more students will be able to graduate on time.

Foss also said that the theme of the Quality Enhancement Plan will provide students with more undergraduate research so that students have an opportunity to gain experience in their majors.

The QEP is mandatory for the University to be reaccredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. Foss said he intends to implement the plan in three years and that SACS will review it in five years.

A report of student feedback from open forums will be completed in February.

Vice President for Research Donald Birx said that the Science and Engineering Research and Classroom Complex is undergoing a build-out project on the first floor. Originally built in 2003, the inside was purposely left empty as a "shell" building to attract outside research.

The UH System Board of Regents approved the $6 million build-out project in November to furnish the building with laboratories.

Construction began in October and is scheduled for completion later this spring, David Irvin, vice president of plant operations, said in an interview with The Daily Cougar last week.

Birx said that the construction schedule for the entire build-out project would take less than five years and be completed by 2010.

Birx also said that research initiatives should focus on renewable energy sources such as wind.

The University’s partnership with the Lone Star Wind Alliance will build a wind testing facility north of Corpus Christi. The partnership received $2 million from the Department of Energy, $5 million from the Texas Legislature and $18 million from the Lone Star Wind Alliance for the facility, The Daily Cougar reported in July.

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