08:19 AM

Regents Approve FY2020 Budget, Wellness and Success Center Plans


By Mark Kramer

The University of Houston System (UHS) Board of Regents, at their meeting held on August 22, approved a $200 million total budget for the University of Houston-Downtown. The Board also supported moving forward on the design and construction of a new Student Wellness and Success Center on campus.

The budget will go into effect at the start of Fiscal Year (FY) 2020 on Sept 1.

In UHD’s FY 2020’s operating budget, the majority of funding will be directed toward student access and success programs, including new six full-time faculty positions, additional scholarships, advising initiatives, orientation enhancements and expanded club sports offerings, including ESports.

With this approved budget, UHD will strengthen its operating budget by reducing reliance on one-time funds. The budget also isolates funds for a mid-year merit pool for faculty and staff, conditional on the achievement of enrollment goals. Other funding will be focused on campus infrastructure that supports students, faculty and staff, including continued improvements in technology and upgrades to the physical plant.

UHD Wellness and Success Center plans moving forward

The UHS Regents also approved the site and program plans for the UHD Wellness & Success Center, paving the way for architect and general contractor selection.

The action comes after state lawmakers authorized a dedicated student fee to support the center during Texas’ 86th Legislative Session. The UHS Board and UHD students previously voted to approve the fee for this project.

The new center will be located west of the recently opened College of Sciences and Technology Building on undeveloped land south of the Daly Street Student Lot. The new facility will provide enhanced recreation areas, along with spaces for other student support/success initiatives.

The published timeline is to have the design phase completed by December 2020, with construction to begin in January 2021. The official targeted completion date for the facility is July 2022.

According to David Bradley, vice president for Administration and Finance, the goal will be to move that timeline up considerably.

“At the president’s direction, we intend to move aggressively on this project,” he said.

FY2010 Budget Breakdown

Operating Budget

• Student Access and Success: $153.4 million

• Infrastructure and Administration: $36.4 million

• National Competitiveness: $2.9 million

• Community Advancement: $3 million

Capital Budget

Capital Facilities: $4.3 million

Total Budget: $200 million

About the Budget

The University’s budget is part of the system-wide $2 billion budget that was approved by the UHS Board of Regents. Budgets also were approved for system institutions, the University of Houston, University of Houston-Clear Lake and University of Houston-Victoria.

About the University of Houston-Downtown

The University of Houston-Downtown (UHD) – the second-largest university in Houston – has served the educational needs of the nation’s fourth-largest city since 1974.

As one of four distinct public universities in the University of Houston System, UHD is a comprehensive four-year university led by President Loren J. Blanchard. Annually, UHD educates more than 15,000 students; boasts more than 61,000 alumni and offers 45 bachelor’s, nine master’s degree programs and 16 fully online programs within five colleges (Marilyn Davies College of Business; Humanities & Social Sciences; Public Service; Sciences & Technology; and University College).

For the fourth consecutive year, U.S. News & World Report ranks UHD among universities across the nation for Best Online Criminal Justice Programs (No. 27 and No. 15 for Veterans) and Best Online Bachelor’s Programs.

UHD has the most affordable tuition among four-year universities in Houston and one of the lowest in Texas. U.S. News ranked the University among Top Performers on Social Mobility and awarded UHD a No. 1 ranking as the most diverse institution of higher education in the southern region of the U.S. The University is noted nationally as a Hispanic-Serving Institution, Minority-Serving Institution and Military Friendly School. For more on the University of Houston-Downtown, visit www.uhd.edu.