Athletics requests lion’s share of fees from SFAC
The Athletics Department requested the most student fees Monday, with a $4.25 million base budget request for fiscal year 2009.
The Student Fees Advisory Committee had its final meeting Wednesday to recommend to UH President Renu Khator where student fees should be allocated in fiscal year 2009.
The Athletics budget requests were not made available to The Daily Cougar until Wednesday.
"Adjusted to inflation, our budget is less today than it was in 2002," Director of Athletics Dave Maggard said Monday.
The Athletics request was the same as its fiscal year 2008 request and accounts for 35 percent of the total student service fee. The SFAC funds would go toward utilities, scholarships and facilities.
"We need a lot of improvement on a lot of the facilities we have," Maggard said. "We need to improve our facilities significantly."
The UH Health Center made a base request of $1.6 million, which did not change from last year. The funds will be used toward expanding the center to provide students with more services year-round.
"Years ago, we did have downtime, but that’s not the case now," Director of the Health Center Floyd Robinson said.
The Health Center is looking to expand into a new building to help staff assist students better, he said. The center is also looking to expand services available to students, such as dental care, although the University has not approved any plans for additional services or a new facility.
"Our intention is to have new housing and to accommodate those students," he said. "We need to have the space to do it."
Vice President of Student Affairs Elwyn Lee told SFAC that some departments were more worthy of receiving fees than others.
"I’m a big fan of the Center for Students with Disabilities and they do a great job, but I frankly didn’t feel like the case was made… that it would be money well spent," he said regarding the CSD’s $51,030 augmentation request for a counselor specializing in autism spectrum disorders.
Lee said that he was "disappointed" in the report Student Legal Services presented.
"I wonder if, sometimes, it’s a good expenditure of money," he said.
Lee said he liked the contributions the Student Government Association, Student Program Board and University Career Services have made over the past year.
Learning and Assessment Services, an umbrella organization that includes 10 other organizations such as the Challenger Program, did not ask for an increase to its $48,590 budget from last year. The organization’s fee funding is used for employee salaries, LAS Executive Director Patrick Daniel said. Less than half of the organization’s $2.3 million annual budget is dependent on student fees, Daniel said.
"We have focus groups that feed information back to the University, and we use it as a strategy to improve not only the learning possibilities but environments… students are (in)" Daniel said.
Learning Support Services did not request an increase to its $436,979 base budget from last year.
In 2007, LSS Director Gail Gillan reported that LSS conducted 46 workshops with 2,560 student participants and tutorials with a total attendance of 4,673 students.
UH Wellness made a request of $194,111, no change from last year.
"We spend 100 percent of our time focusing on prevention and education," Gillan, who is also the UH Wellness director, said.
UH Wellness focuses on helping students with stress management and alcoholism, Gillan said.
The Urban Experience Program made a request of $101,374, which did not change from last year.
The Central Business Office also requested no changes to its $63,330 base request from last year.
Additional reporting by Daily Cougar News staff