UH System Legislative Agenda Guide

"Anybody that tries to predict Texas government just doesn't understand the situation."
Stuart Long, Founder, Texas Legislative Service

83RD TEXAS LEGISLATIVE SESSION

The University of Houston and the UH System have made great progress meeting our commitment to offer nationally competitive opportunities for learning, discovery and engagement to a diverse population of students in a real-world setting. To continue serving as one of the state’s premier educational resources, we request consideration of these priorities:

EQUITABLE FUNDING

Pharmacy Programs

  • State funding allocated for courses at pharmacy schools classified as General Academic Institutions (GAI) is significantly lower for the identical curriculum and certifications at institutions classified as Health Related Institution (HRI). Texas now imports almost 40 percent of its pharmacists. If funding equality were achieved, the number of UH’s pharmacy graduates would double and Texas would have to import fewer out of state pharmacists.
  • The UH System (UHS), in conjunction with the two similarly affected universities, is requesting funding parity for all pharmacy programs in the state.

BUILDING TEXAS’ FUTURE TODAY

Tuition Revenue Bonds

  • To meet the goals called for in Closing the Gaps, the UHS institutions need to construct new instructional and research buildings, as well as repair and renovate existing facilities.
  • The authorization of Tuition Revenue Bonds, which are currently at historically low rates, should be strongly encouraged to address growing campus facility needs and aging infrastructure.

TRUTH AND TRANSPARENCY IN TUITION

Conversion of Fees to Tuition Legislation

  • To create a transparent system of tuition, UH believes universities, on a one-time basis, should be allowed to convert fees to designated tuition without setting aside the 15 to 20 percent in scholarship funds normally required of tuition.
  • Texas universities have numerous student fees, often resulting in confusing bill statements for students and parents. This conversion would allow UH to make college costs more transparent and predictable.

KEEPING TEXAS A TIER ONE STATE

Tier One Research Funding

  • During the past decade, the Texas Legislature created four vital state funds to support the development of additional Tier One research universities in the state: the Research Development Fund, Texas Competitive Knowledge Fund, Texas Research Incentive Program, and National Research University Fund.
  • As UH builds upon its Tier One status, these funds are essential for the research infrastructure required to support current faculty as well as achieve the university’s goal of recruiting 60 new researchers in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) disciplines during the next two years.

The University of Houston System is a comprehensive system of higher education institutions to further the intellectual capital and economic strength of the Gulf Coast region and the state. The UH System includes the University of Houston, a nationally recognized Tier One public research university; UH-Downtown, a four-year undergraduate university expanding into graduate programs; UH- Victoria, a four-year university with undergraduate and master’s level degree programs; and UH-Clear Lake, an upper-division and master’s level institution expanding into a four-year undergraduate university in Fall 2014. UHS includes off-campus teaching centers in Sugar Land, Katy, Pearland, Northwest Houston, and the Texas Medical Center. The System owns and operates Houston Public Media (HPM), which includes KUHF-FM, Houston’s National Public Radio station; KUHA-FM, Houston’s classical music station; and KUHT-TV, the nation’s first educational television station.

 

Agenda Power Point Presentation (pdf)