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Friday, May 14, 2021

Administration

UH facing potential $95M loss in revenue due to pandemic


UH is facing a whopping $95 million in potential revenue loss in fiscal year 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic’s impact, the University’s finance and administration chief Raymond Bartlett said during Thursday’s UH System Board of Regents meeting.

This loss is due to changes in learning format and the level of state intervention as a result of the pandemic, Bartlett said during the finance and administration portion of Thursday’s meetings.

The finance and administration committee also reported projected losses in housing, parking and meal plan sales in FY2021.

UH’s financial plan for the upcoming year will include mitigations to that projected loss including payroll reductions and delaying or eliminating construction projects, among others. Bartlett also said the losses could potentially be offset by money from the federal government.

The University was allocated over $36 million as part of the federal government’s massive, $2.2 trillion economic stimulus package in April. Another stimulus bill, which could include some education funding, is gaining “momentum” in Congress.

Even with these financial mitigation protocols, Bartlett assured that UH is still prioritizing student success, research, talent retention, and implementing a strategic plan.

“We all remain committed to keeping our eye on our number one priority which is student access and success,” said Bartlett.

President Renu Khator later presented the University’s strategic plan to become one of the top 50 public universities in the country.

“The initiative that we put in place, the momentum that we have, all of those things are going to propel us,” Khator said.

Khator mentioned that the criteria considered for top universities includes student success based on graduation and retention rate, which UH surpassed the predicted average for just this year. 

Student selectivity is another factor, centered on class ranking upon admission and standardized test scores. Although due to the pandemic, test scores aren’t as much of a factor.

Institutional investment in student success is another factor in university ranking, focused on student to faculty ratio and advising along with financial resources.

University ranking now includes social mobility as a factor for top schools, looking at statistics such as Pell Grant students’ graduation rate and student debt upon graduation.

“We want to be able to convince the community and the legislature that with a little bit of investment into the University of Houston they could actually have a top 50 institution right here in Houston and the third one in Texas,” Khator said.

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