Faculty & Staff

Faculty Senate talks $10,000 degrees

No major public university in Texas offers a full college education that costs less than $10,000.
At the Faculty Senate meeting Wednesday, University leaders discussed Gov. Rick Perry’s proposed “$10,000 degree plan” and the possibility of state funding cuts.
Ten Texas universities offer $10,000 degrees. None of the state’s major public universities, including UH, offer such a program, said faculty senate president Dmitri Litvinov.

Texas A&M University-Commerce was given a $1 million grant to develop a $10,000 degree and was able to develop a $15,000 fully online plan within a year, Litvinov said.

John Antel, vice chancellor and senior vice president for Academic Affairs, also addressed the $10,000 degree initiative.

“We’re continuing to try to work toward that, but we’re also committed to value and quality. It’s quite a challenge,” Antel said.

Antel continued, speaking about the potential impact UH’s funding the upcoming legislative session could have. He also discussed the constant tuition initiative, which would ensure that tuition remains constant throughout a freshman’s four-year career.

“With the new consolidated tuition and fees, we’re very well-positioned to do that,” Antel said.

“In fact, with the graduation plans that are already in place, we already have a program to hold tuition constant based on student performance.”

There has been discussion in Austin about cutting state funding by up to 25 percent instead of the anticipated 10 percent, Antel said. Currently, the state funds UH at 22 to 25 percent. While a 10 percent cut in government funding would only impact UH’s total revenue by 2 to 3 percent, the impact of a 25 percent cut would be more substantial.

There was also discussion about working toward a UH Health Sciences Center, improving programs for transfer students and implementing continuing professional education for staff members to increase revenue.

“There are opportunities around several colleges. The University always supports entrepreneurial behavior,” Antel said.

The next Faculty Senate meeting will be Dec. 12.

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