Faculty & Staff

Faculty senate talks Pell grants, graduation rates, student fees

UH President Renu Khator said the University needs to focus on graduation rates in the faculty senate meeting Wednesday in the Rockwell Pavilion.
Khator said she spoke with President Barack Obama during his visit in Houston about making the University part of a network that will consist of 14 schools for an initiative that will focus on a blueprint for college affordability.

“College cost has become a national federal and state item,” Khator said. “I understand the cost has gone up very much and it really is becoming a major issue.”

The University is seeking the fund, but it will only be eligible if it meets more on-time graduation rates, meaning students need to graduate within six years.

“We have to be careful in who we admit to the University,” Khator said.

“College completion and successful post-graduation employment are becoming increasingly important evaluation criteria.”

Khator also mentioned how the importance of helping students reach graduation within six years especially applies to those who are currently using Pell grants for their tuition.

Forty-four percent of first-time in college freshmen at the University are using Pell grants, Khator said.

“If we cannot graduate a student in six years, they will not be able to receive Pell grants anymore,” Khator said.

Khator said if students do not complete their courses by that time frame, they will lose the grant, and some of them will not be able to complete their degrees. This also leads to lower graduation rates for the University.

Provost John Antel discussed the consolidation of tuition and fees that would charge students by their major instead of individual courses.

Antel assured that there will be a semester-by-semester accounting where students will still be able to see where their tuition and each of their fees are used.

“This is really something about student preferences in having some predictability in terms of what they will have to pay,” Antel said.




  • “We have to be careful in who we admit to the University.” – Khator needs to quit blaming the students. I’ve had countless professors who simply could not teach a thing. How about hiring teachers instead of people who couldn’t even teach 1+1. How about a stronger support network? How about investing in tutoring? CASA is mediocre, and LSS needs more tutors. Nobody cares about that at all. And they want to increase graduation rates? That’s laughable. Start with you before you blame the students.

  • I attended the University of Texas at Austin before transferring to UH and there are a couple of things that I liked about UT which UH could implement.

    The UT system schools (or at least UT – San Antonio and UT – Austin) have what are called SI sessions. SI sessions are basically after-class lectures held by students who have completed the class they are teaching and earned an A.

    For example, a student who has taken Organic Chemistry II and received an A could become an SI Leader and review the class lectures and answer questions outside of the classroom. Students like these are valuable because they know what the professor expects, know what types of questions he/she may ask, and give you a better idea of out to successfully pass the course.

    My next comment may make it sound like I’m racist but, I’m not. CASA is a mess! The tutors their are mostly foreign students who have serious issues with accents and some of these students confuse me (as well as other students that I know) when we seek out help rather than help.

    The testing environment also needs to change. I’m tired of having moderators breath down my kneck while I’m stressing over Dr. Smith’s STATS tests. Also, I have had numerous computer-related issues (e.g. computer freezes while clock is still running, calculator/formula sheets don’t open up) and when I ask the mods for help they stare back at me with a blank look.

    One point I would like to make is that a Tier One school (which we are NOT) doesn’t add any extra value to your coursework unless if you’re a graduate student. UT Austin is a big time research university and as a result, the quality of teaching has gone down year after year since professors are primarily concerned with grad students and or their research.

    We need to find professors that CAN teach such as Dr. Almut, who teaches Pre-Calculus for example. She is an example of a professor who is mostly concerned with teaching and is able to help students who at least attempt to be successful in her class. Several classmates who have struggled in lower-level math classes actually excelled in her class and most of them made As if not at least a B.

    Just my thoughts…

    • I am seeing alot of UTA students coming to UHmain now. I was former SI leader when I had the gpa to do it. UH has the money to become a TIER ONE university the only problem is its to much politics. Allocate money into a better student advising experience, fix financial aid process, and improve the student success program. All I seen when i was there was the was higher amount of debt I took out to finance my 2 years there. The study body act like zombies.

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