Senate focuses on budget

The University must cut its budget by at least $54 million in 2011, according to former UH Faculty Senate President Mark Clarke at Wednesday’s Faculty Senate Meeting.

UH has already cut $15 million from its budget and it could get worse, Clarke said. The cuts could be as high as $65 million, 20 percent of the University’s annual budget.

The entire UH System is being asked to reduce their budget by 20 or 16 percent, depending on which version of the state’s appropriation bill is passed.

The Senate is particularly concerned with the proposed cutting of the TEXAS Grant program, which provides tuition for 27,000 students at UH.

The meeting was Clarke’s last meeting as president, and he thanked the Senate for the chance to serve. He then welcomed new president Monica McHenry, who said she wants to make communication the focus of her presidency.

“Our common enemy is the Texas budget,” McHenry said. “We want to protect everyone as much as possible.”

President Renu Khator was not in attendance. She and several other administrative members were in Austin fighting for state funding, Clarke and McHenry said.

McHenry hopes UH’s lastest designation as a flagship research university and a strong administrative presence in Austin will help the University’s case.

“We don’t want to take a disproportionate amount of cuts like we did last year,” McHenry said.

The meeting marked the first Senate under UH’s newest designation. Clarke encouraged everyone to attend the Celebration of Excellence event at 11 a.m. Friday at Cullen Performance Hall.

“Without the administration, the faculty, and the students we wouldn’t have gotten there as quickly as we did,” Clarke said. “No one expected us to get this designation for at least five years.”

During Clarke’s presidency, the existing UH childcare program was expanded in an effort to continue to recruit quality faculty, the Senate’s accountability taskforce was established, and 20 teaching awards totaling $250,000 were established.

1 Comment

  • While the senate is focused on serious budget issues, President Khator continues her wasteful practices squandering our resources!

    President Khator's mismanagement of UH-Victoria caused tension between the community, the President of UH-Victoria, Dr. Hudson, and herself. When she decided to remove Dr. Hudson last August, she CREATED a new high-level high-pay position for Dr. Hudson (Special Assistant to the Chancellor for International Programs and Initiatives) to, we assume, silence him in exchange for this consolation prize…

    The pattern repeats itself: Dr. Khator has just removed Dr. Elwyn Lee from the VP for student affairs position and again CREATED A NEW high-level high-pay cabinet-level position (vice president for community relations and institutional access)!

    While the campus is concerned about the reduction or elimination of vital positions and services, President Khator continues to waste our resources by her highly questionable practices.

    She does not seem to understand the situation we are in and, while she appears to be a good motivational speaker, she fails to set the example by her own actions and therefore she fails to provide the critical leadership we need during these hard times.

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