Guest commentary: UH should increase endowment
The UH endowment is $522 million, according to a 2007 study by the National Association of College and University Business Officers. That ranks UH 140th of the 785 universities studied.
Increasing the endowment would be an important step in turning UH into a flagship university. Harvard University is first in the rankings, with an endowment of $34 billion. The University of Texas is ranked 5th with almost $16 billion and Texas A’M is ranked 10th with $6.5 billion.
If we doubled our endowment to $1 billion, UH would be ranked 76th. This should be our first goal.
Houston has 22 Fortune 500 businesses with local headquarters. Companies such as ConocoPhillips, Sysco and Halliburton call Houston their home. These companies do not hesitate to give to large universities and we should encourage them to support UH.
In 2007, ConocoPhillips gave $6 million to the University of Oklahoma’s School of Geology and Geophysics. It was the largest gift in the school’s history. Total gifts and pledges from the company to the school total more than $33 million.
ConocoPhillips has established the Safety, People, Integrity, Responsibility, Innovation,
Teamwork, or SPIRIT, scholars program to "foster leadership and public service."
SPIRIT provides funding to the University of Oklahoma, Oklahoma State University, the University of Tulsa, the Colorado School of Mines, UT and A’M, according to the company Web site. UH should petition to be a part of this program.
Halliburton established the Halliburton Foundation in 1965 that, among other activities, makes direct donations to colleges and universities. The UH College of Technology offers a scholarship with the help of Halliburton funding that’s named after the company.
We need to continue recruiting support from these large Houston-based companies and seek out others to contribute to our goal of increasing the endowment.
President Renu Khator has many other areas of the University to focus on to help boost UH to flagship status, but increasing our endowment is a must if we are going to be a flagship school compared to UT and A’M.
Martin, a communication senior, can be reached via [email protected].