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Aug. 18, 2011
This week the University of Houston System (UHS) Board of Regents approved a $144 million FY2012 budget for the University of Houston-Downtown.
The state significantly reduced its support to UHD, with the direct and indirect cuts totaling $5.5M for FY2012. We have addressed the majority of this loss ($3.8M) through strategic reductions to our FY2011 base budget. The input we received from faculty and staff, the suggestions from the online forums and the work of the Budget Reduction and Efficiencies Task Force helped us identify ways to streamline our operations while strengthening our focus on student success. I extend my thanks to all of you who participated and shared your insights; you helped us develop a strong response to the reduction in state support. We have already adopted or started implementing several recommendations including modifications to the custodial contract, downsizing of leased copiers, changes in business practices and reductions in paper usage. In addition, we eliminated 36 base-funded positions, the majority of which were vacant staff positions.
We expect the remainder of the lost state funds ($1.7M) to be offset by new revenue generated through enrollment growth. This underscores the importance of continuing to build our enrollments and improve student retention.
In the spring the Board of Regents approved modest tuition and fee increases for the UHS component campuses. For UHD we project the 3.95% increase in undergraduate tuition/fees to generate approximately $2.7M of new revenue for FY2012. In approving this increase the Board indicated that we are to use these funds only for critical new initiatives that impact student success.
I am very encouraged by the new initiatives we will undertake. Approximately $2M will be allocated to student success initiatives. Those initiatives include providing new scholarship funds, increasing resources for student service centers (Admissions Office, Financial Aid and Veterans Services), strengthening advising at all levels and enhancing our commitment to high impact practices. We will continue to invest in those areas that promise to drive future growth, such as on-line instruction and instruction delivered at distance sites. In addition, we will launch a marketing and branding effort that will make us more visible in the community and enhance our recruiting efforts.
As I walk around campus, I am filled with enthusiasm about the future of this University. We have a community of faculty and staff that is wholly committed to the success of our students. We have embraced high-impact practices and with those practices, we have an opportunity to reinvent UHD.
We are making changes that will position UHD to meet the needs of university students for years to come. It is an exciting time to be at UHD. I thank you for the work you do and look forward to the year ahead.
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Last updated or reviewed on 8/18/11