Faculty discuss budget, furlough
The faculty and staff discussed the upcoming issues on their agenda for the year at Tuesday’s staff council meeting.
Head of the staff council Ann McFarland opened the meeting by giving a brief overview of the new forum and the main issues to be implemented.
“We would like to keep things moving in a positive way,” McFarland said. “We are here to discuss the challenges we are facing and also to celebrate the positive things.”
At the forefront of the meeting was the University’s continued movement to flagship status.
UH President Renu Khator opened her remarks by thanking everyone for their service to UH and their continued support.
“Outside of the students, you (the staff) make up the largest population of the University,” Khator said. “If this University has gone anywhere, or is going anywhere, it is because of what you have done.”
Khator praised the staff for the increased enrollment and research numbers, and also the increase in private fundraising.
Funding and support has increased from $38 million to $75-$85 million. The increase in private funding was credited to the community’s belief in the University’s goal. This was evident primarily with the increase of alumni engagement from 5 percent to nearly 13 percent over the last year.
When the floor was opened for questions, many staff members expressed concern about furloughs and budget cuts. The expected budget cuts for UH in the 2010-2011 fiscal year are at 10 percent, as opposed to the 20-30 percent budget cuts seen in states such as Florida and California.
President Khator said that although we are expected to experience budget cuts and inevitably some layoffs, the staff and faculty need to synchronize their efforts in order to be successful in the overall goal of the university.
“Our goal of reaching (flagship) status is so important,” Khator said. “It will not only benefit the University, but also the community as a whole.”