Staff Editorial

UH needs to consider all options before making cuts

Texas Gov. Ricky Perry, Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst and House Speaker Joe Straus, sent a letter to the public universities in Texas on Jan. 15, requesting them to submit plans to help cut 5 percent of Texas’ general revenue.

Thirty-two percent of UH’s budget comes from state funding and is comprised of funds used to pay faculty and staff salaries, maintenance and scholarships.

The Houston Chronicle said Jan. 28, that UH would cut $16 million from its annual $996.5 million budget over the next two years.

In the letter to the schools, Perry, Dewhurst and Straus said that Texas’ revenues had “weakened substantially as the national recession began exerting its full influence on Texas. Due to the uncertainty of the state’s short-term economic future, as well as potentially substantial long-term costs associated with the passage of federal legislation currently being debated in Washington, D.C., we are asking each state agency to thoroughly review all planned expenditures for the remainder of the biennium.”

The cuts would most likely affect the University’s attempts to reach flagship status, and would likely mean that the Board of Regents would have to approve another tuition increase for 2010-2011, as well as cuts to certain non-academic programs and degrees that don’t attract as many students, the Chronicle said.

Faculty members would probably have to wait at least two years before seeing pay raises, and students would yet again have to fork up the money to bail out the University.

Although we understand the cut is necessary and that this issue is not exclusive to UH, we ask that administrators and the regents take into consideration their students if, and when, they approve another tuition increase.

We ask Board of Regents Chairman Welcome Wilson to consider each and every option before making a decision.

It’s in the best interest of everyone at UH to thoroughly examine any possible solution before acting.

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