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Friday, November 27, 2020

Administration

Less funding, setting higher standard highlights Division of Student Affairs and Enrollment Services’ SFAC presentation


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Walker will meet with President and Chancellor Renu Khator to look at the recommendations that the Student Fees Advisory Commitee made when every organization has completed its presentation. | Ajani Stewart/The Cougar

The Division of Student Affairs and Enrollment Services finished off a week of presentations to the Student Fees Advisory Committee on Friday by requesting its base budget of more than $1 million.

Richard Walker, vice president of DSAES, asked for a $1,277,547 base budget for the department for the next fiscal year, most of which is used for staff’s salaries and benefits.

“Our goal is to support students with their success and engagement in the University,” Walker said.

Walker requested less funds from SFAC than the last fiscal year. DSAES also returned $128,609 of unspent funds to the committee.

Since Walker became the department’s vice president in 2011, he has been successful in implementing changes to improve the University. Approved initiatives include a tobacco-free campus, an emphasis on sexual misconduct training and a more efficient IT system.

“We want to set a national standard for what we do, with core values of transparency and innovation,” Walker said.

DSAES supports student success and learning experience by overseeing curricular and co-curricular opportunities. This goal is achieved by building strong campus and community relationships.

Walker said that UH must set an impressive standard as it continues on a positive trend with enrollment growth.

More than 30 units, including the Campus Recreation and Wellness Center and the Center for Student Media among others, present budget requests to SFAC each fiscal year.

UH students, per semester, pay a student services fee of $255, alongside tuition. SFAC must deliberate on how to properly allocate that fee to fund organizations and departments.

“I want to thank the committee for working toward how we fund an estimated total of $23 million to support students on campus,” Walker said when concluding his presentation.

SFAC will now deliberate how to allocate student fees to each organization. The committee will spend next month building a recommendation report based on what each unit requested.

Organizations had the opportunity to request a base budget for FY 2018 as well as one-time requests to fund specific activities for the current fiscal year or FY 2018.

In December or January, a meeting with President and Chancellor Renu Khator and Walker will take place to approve or deny the recommendations that SFAC makes for allocating Student Service Fee funds.

Any approved one-time funds for 2017 will be released to units in Spring 2017.

“I think there’s a lot of pressure,” said SFAC Vice Chair Farah Islam. “You are representing the student body and have a lot of money to allocate to important programs, but I feel that I have a great chance to make a difference.” 

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