09:54 AM

Summer Updates from the President

drfloresAs we embark on our final 2014 summer session, I'd like to take the opportunity to update you on some recent events and exciting developments for the coming academic year.

UH System board of regents meeting:

The University of Houston System board of regents met in May and approved the System's FY15 budget, in addition to transfer admission requirements for UHD. Included in UHD's operating budget of $160.9 million is a 3 percent salary pool for eligible faculty and staff. The adoption of transfer admission standards, effective fall 2015, follows the adoption of FTIC admission standards in fall 2013. These standards, along with improved advising and enhanced academic support services, will pave the way for improved retention and graduation rates in the years ahead.

In Chancellor Renu Khator's report to the board of regents, she highlighted the full, five-year reaccreditation of UHD's College of Business by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, the nation's premier accrediting body for business schools. She also noted the new partnership between UHD's Criminal Justice Training Center and the Harris County Sheriff's Office to train hundreds of HCSO employees for important law enforcement positions across the county.

Summer I and II enrollment:

I am pleased to share details on current enrollment and credit hours, based on the 20th day of the Summer I session and the 12th day of the Summer II session. Overall enrollment is 9.3percent higher, overall credit hours are 11.4percent higher and online credit hours are 22.9 percent higher than this time last summer. These most impressive increases are a reflection of your unwavering commitment to our students. I applaud your continued efforts to encourage students' persistence and dedication to their academic journey. We are truly making a difference in the lives of our students.

Faculty/staff garage and Welcome Center construction:

As you may have noticed, Vaughn Construction recently completed excavation and site preparation for the new faculty/staff garage and Welcome Center. Over the next month, the company will begin drilling piers and pouring footings for the foundation and tower crane, which will be installed in July. Once the tower crane is in place, you will begin to see new construction arise from the site, with steady construction work for approximately 10 months. We expect to have two levels of parking in the new garage in service during summer 2015, with full operation of the faculty/staff garage and Welcome Center by fall 2015.

I greatly appreciate your flexibility and patience as we experience these growing pains. The final garage and Welcome Center will be well worth your continued flexibility and patience!

Fixed Tuition Rate Plan for fall 2014:

Although UHD's tuition rate is among the most affordable in the state, many UHD students must juggle multiple jobs to pay for their education. For this reason, I am pleased that our new Fixed Tuition Rate Plan - set to begin this fall for FTIC freshmen and transfer students with less than 30 hours of college credit - will help students better budget for college costs with the assurance that tuition will not increase throughout their four-year UHD tenure. The requirement that participating students complete 30 semester credit hours per year also creates a structure to help them graduate in a timely manner.

Faculty promotion and recognition:

It is my pleasure to announce the outstanding UHD faculty members recently approved for promotion and/or tenure by the UH System board of regents. I extend my personal thanks to these professors for their academic leadership, professional contributions and the role they play in helping students achieve their higher education goals. Please join me in congratulating the following individuals for their achievements. Faculty members marked with an asterisk earned both promotion and tenure.

College of Business:

  • Ohaness Paskelian, associate professor*
  • Charles Strain, professor
  • Sarah Walker, associate professor*

College of Humanities and Social Sciences:

  • Sharin Elkholy, associate professor*

College of Public Service:

  • Christal Burnett, associate professor*
  • Myrna Cohen, professor
  • Amelia Hewitt, associate professor*
  • Hsiao-Ming Wang, professor

College of Sciences and Technology:

  • Volodymyr Hrynkiv, associate professor*
  • Lisa Morano, professor
  • Plamen Simeonov, professor

Lastly, I'd like to thank each of you - faculty and staff, alike - for your invaluable contributions to overall student success. UHD granted more than 1,000 bachelor's degrees and more than 30 master's degrees at our spring 2014 commencement ceremony. The achievement of these graduates rests on the foundation of your hard work and commitment to creating the next generation of business, public service, science and social service leaders. Thank you for all you do for our students and University.

Best wishes for a productive summer!


Bill Flores, Ph.D.
UHD President