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Office of the President

Message to the University Community

2012-2013 UHD Budget Planning

May 4, 2012


Dear UHD Faculty and Staff:


In April, Provost Chapman, David Bradley and I met with Chancellor Khator for UHD's budget hearing. Coincidentally, our Budget Hearing followed on the heels of a very successful visit to UHD by Chancellor Khator, who met informally with some of our students and faculty to discuss the University's priorities and objectives.

We were well-prepared and positioned for the Budget Hearing, due in large part to the efforts of the faculty and staff who served on the Planning and Budget Development Committee led by Chair Ermelinda Delavina and Vice-Chair Erin Mayer. The Committee did an outstanding job of leading a participative process. As a continuation of that process, I want to provide you with a summary and our budget request, and also direct you to additional documents that are posted on Blackboard, should you wish to delve further into the decision-making. Instructions regarding access to budget documents on Blackboard are available here.

We are very fortunate that the Board of Regents voted to approve a modest tuition increase for the coming year. It helps to provide some parity with our peer institutions and will enable us to address the key priorities we have established. In addition, I would be remiss if I didn't express my thanks and appreciation to the 2011-2012 SGA leadership for their approval of an increase in the Advising Fee for the coming year. These two steps have put us in a much better position to meet our student success objectives for FY2013.

Key highlights of this year's process include:

  • The University Planning Council, which served as the coordinating body of UHD's planning efforts for many years, was re-engineered and renamed the UHD Planning and Budget Development Committee (PBDC). The new committee was comprised of 18 members ably led by Dr. Delavina. They met over a period of 8 weeks and their discussions were collegial, respectful and informative, resulting in a budget that serves the highest needs of the institution.
  • The PBDC focused on accountability. Each division leader provided a report detailing initiatives funded for FY2012 prior to submitting any requests for FY2013. As a result of this careful review, some unspent funds were pulled back for reallocation in FY2013.
  • Funding requests were tied to the high-priority tactics identified through the strategic planning process.
  • At my request, the PBDC reviewed all requests for new funding through a focused lens. For each request, they asked:
    • Will this initiative contribute to improved retention and graduation rates?
    • Is this initiative aligned with our vision of UHD providing students with the kinds of high-impact educational experiences that will lead them to graduate with 21st Century skills?
    • Does the proposed initiative align with and support critical goals and objectives outlined in the draft UHD Strategic Plan 2020, with particular attention to enrollment growth and improving retention and graduation rates.

It is important to note that the final step in the budget process lies with the University of Houston System Board of Regents. What is provided at the end of this memo is a summary of the highlights of our request. The UHS Board of Regents will meet on May 16 to review the proposed budgets of each UHS component university and make its final decision on whether to approve. After the Board meets more detail will be posted to the Blackboard site, but at this time we are posting only the high level summary materials that were discussed with Chancellor Khator.

Again, for a more complete understanding of the process and the decisions made, I encourage you to review the documents posted here. I remain committed to transparency in this process, and I believe that it is important that we all have an understanding of our financial situation and the issues facing our University.

As I close, I must reiterate the importance of enrollment growth at our institution. It is every employee's job to ensure that we support our students, provide them with good service and work to help them be successful. I am optimistic about the budget we have presented and the year before us. This budget positions us to support our students, faculty and staff at a high level, despite the economic challenges we face. Together we can continue to build a great university and continue to show our commitment to student success.

Best regards,

Bill Flores
UHD President


University of Houston-Downtown Highlighted FY13 Budget Initiatives

Scholarship /Recruiting/Enrollment
$845,493 New Funds
$330,000 HEAF

In addition to $400k for institutional scholarships, we propose to allocate funds for new positions in Enrollment Services and support for a Customer Relationship Manager Software product to manage interactions with prospective students. As we move toward FY13 and the full implementation of automatic admission standards, funding to support Enrollment Services is critical.

Strengthened Advising, Mentoring, Tutoring
$304,000 New Funds

Funds will be used for staffing and programmatic support for a new advising model. This has long been a request of our students and our new model is heavily influenced by the nationally recognized Student Advising and Mentoring Center (SAM Center) at Sam Houston State University. Evidence shows that this new model should help us to dramatically improve retention and graduation rates.

Recruit and Retain Highly Qualified Faculty
$478,000 New Funds
$720,000 Fund Balance

UHD will commit significant resources to demonstrate support for faculty, both full-time and part-time. In addition, the University will utilize funds from reserves to provide one-time, non-base merit stipends for deserving faculty. While we would prefer to provide base increases, this will not be possible until our enrollment grows at a more significant pace.

Library Support
$2,650,000 HEAF

The University continues to increase its library budget to keep pace with higher costs of materials and support new programs.

Student Labs and Classroom Equipment
$1,375,000 HEAF

HEAF will be used to fund scheduled upgrades in computing labs, replace aging multimedia equipment and classroom presentation systems. Other investments include equipment to support Natural Sciences and build-out of a new art studio.

Accommodate Continued Growth
$279,966 New Funds
$22,000 HEAF

Funds will support enrollment growth in online programs by adding IT positions. In addition, we propose to support students with disabilities through additional part-time staff in that area.

Marketing/Community Awareness
$62,000 New Funds
$100,000 Fund Balance

Continued funding for branding/marketing will enhance the University's ability to recruit students in a hyper-competitive market.

Physical Plant Maintenance and Upgrades
$936,710 HEAF
$125,000 Fund Balance

Various upgrade and maintenance projects require attention to keep the physical structure in good order.

Ongoing Technology Maintenance and Upgrades
$323,958 New Funds
$100,000 Fund Balance
$1,406,658 HEAF

Significant expenditures must be made each year to maintain and update investments in technology.

Faculty/Staff Technology Support
$675,000 HEAF

Funds allocated to maintain technology standards.

Campus Security
$286,968 New Funds
$150,000 HEAF

New positions will be added in campus security, in addition to equipment needed to support UHD police. An Emergency Manager position will be added to develop a comprehensive campus emergency plan.

General Administration and Operations
$280,119 New Funds
$822,467 Fund Balance
$239,736 HEAF

Funds will support general upkeep including UH System service charges, property insurance and one-time, non-base merit stipends for UHD staff.


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Last updated or reviewed on 9/17/14

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