UH Chancellor Khator makes a stand for education in the face of Perry's budgetcuts
Cuts, cuts and more cuts: That's what the state legislature has in store for Texas over the next two years to deal with a massive budget deficit, since Gov. Rick Perry has pledged not to raise taxes.
With the proposed budgets cutting University of Houston's support by 16 percent, chancellor Renu Khator gave testimony in front of legislators in Austin this week about why maintaining funding levels for UH and universities like it is so important.
Pointing out that the percentage of cuts as laid out in the budget bill is greater for higher education than the overall budget cuts, Khator asked that legislators rethink some cuts, give higher education a more fair level of cuts and allow universities more flexibility to help respond to the decreases.
Khator made special mention of UH's recent designation as a Tier One research university by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, noting that with projected cuts, UH would be hard pressed to continue its progress towards becoming a state-certified Tier One school.
"It is not an exaggeration to say that cuts of this magnitude would severely limit our ability to achieve our goals. In fact, we would not be able to support the students we currently enroll, much less accommodate forecast enrollment increases in the coming years," Khator said in front of the state senate finance committee.
"None of the University of Houston’s accomplishments over the past several years would have been possible without strong support from the state through the formulas, financial aid, and the Tier One funding programs, as well as public policy that values higher education," Khator said. "Under Senate Bill 1, the University of Houston stands to lose $54 million over the biennium. Even under such circumstances, however, we are determined to move forward on our strategic goals."