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Monday, October 2, 2023

Faculty & Staff

Faculty Senate braces for budget cuts

Texas is facing a budget shortfall of up to $24 billion in the next legislative session, and the Faculty Senate is preparing for a 10 percent reduction in state funds. The budget cut is expected to be officially announced when the Texas Legislature resumes next year, but the Senate is already planning for the worst.

“Ten percent of our general funds — and this is just the money we’re subtracting from the total revenue we get from the state — comes out to be about 3 percent of our total budget,” Provost John Antel said. “So that’s at least a little bit of good news — but it’s still 13.7 million dollars, which is an awful lot of money.”

The Senate is looking into many different ways to try and combat this loss of funding any way it can — including looking into cutting some programs, Antel said.

“What we’re going to do in the interim in the next few months — it might take a year or two years — we’re going to get together and really try and come down and do program evaluations,” Antel said.

No matter what the outcome of the budget cuts may be, the Senate remains focused on the University’s short and long-term future. While there are some cuts being made, the organization is also ensuring that UH stays on the right track, and it’s looking as far ahead as 10 years.

“We have to think about where we want to be in ten years as an institution, and we have to think about our current priorities — our high level priorities,” Antel said.

Although it wasn’t the most light-hearted discussion, President Renu Khator made sure to emphasize that UH students will always be the first priority, no matter what.

“I want our students to feel that they are not poor cousins to anybody,” Khator said. “We value them, we believe in them, they are special to us, and we want them to be successful and graduate.”

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