Budget aims to enhance campus initiatives
After the Board of Regents met in August to approve the nearly $2 billion budget for 2015-2016, UH main campus will receive $1.25 billion in funding this year to improve services such as financial aid, fellowships, recruitment and enrollment.
“There is a separate budget development process at each of the campuses, including participation of faculty and staff to prioritize funding needs at each campus (which is) approved by the University President and reviewed with the UHS Chancellor,” UH’s Chief Financial Officer, Jim McShan said.
“Each campus budget and a combined system wide budget are presented to the Board of Regents for approval.”
The new budget will be divided among four campuses — the University of Houston Main Campus, UH Clear Lake, UH Downtown and UH Victoria. Main Campus’ budget allows for $21 million to go towards national competitiveness goals that include enhancing research facilities.
“I think the budget should go to speeding up the projects such as The Cullen Family Plaza Fountain and Reflecting Pool,” said creative writing junior Marissa Gonzalez.
“It’s an eyesore on campus and has such a significance to our University’s traditions.”
Other students think the budget should be used for their own benefit.
“I would have put some of the (money) towards the organizations at school and improving the parking lots,” communications junior Brittany Johnson said.
UH Clear Lake has entered its second year as a four-year institution and will receive $155 million to continue improving student success.
UHCL will use $7.7 million for financial assistance, student and academic support initiatives, hiring new faculty, staff retention and instructional support. This campus has also set aside $1.5 million towards recruitment, retention and development for faculty.
“UHCL provides an opportunity for students that may not meet the rigorous UH admission standards and (allows them to be able) to pursue a quality four-year degree,” said McShan.
Over recent years, UH Downtown has seen an increase in both graduating classes and minority graduates.
According to the budget, UHD will receive a total of $191 million to support student success and national competitiveness initiatives. They will set aside $5.8 million in financial aid, student support, initiatives to increase student retention and graduation rates, academic facilities (library & labs) and equipment.
“I was a transfer student from UHD last year, so I think they should expand the food court variety and the parking lots,” human development and family studies junior Gabriela Pacheco said.
UH Victoria is receiving a total of $80 million to help with its sixth year of downward expansion.
The budget plans to improve student recruitment, retention and graduation initiatives, academic programs, new faculty and increase the online curriculum. UHV will also use $326,000 on national competitiveness efforts such as its Quality Enhancement Plan and bolstering faculty salaries.
The UH System expects to expand its campuses through $188 million in capital project expenditures in FY2016.