STUDENT-LOAN DEFAULTERS GRANTED 60-DAY REPRIEVE

BY KAREN RICHARD

DAILY COUGAR

Students who defaulted on their loans will get a 60-day reprieve before the Texas Guaranteed Student Loan Corporation begins withholding monies from their paychecks to repay $250,000.

The "pardon" is designed to encourage borrowers to voluntarily contact the Corporation and make payment arrangements. Those who take advantage of the opportunity this month will not be affected by the November 1991 federal law which allows TGSLC to take payments from wages.

Cathy Flautt, TGSLC's director of public affairs, said they are using various methods, which include public-service announcements, news releases and direct mail to get the message out before July when the first 30-day notices will be mailed.

This notice is the only advance notice they are required to give borrowers before collection, she said.

"Withholding" will affect borrowers who have made no payment for at least six months and the lender has already been reimbursed by claim.

In many cases, collection attempts have been ongoing for several years, Flautt said.

Because the schools' financial-aid departments wouldn't normally have contact with a student after graduation, and the bank has exhausted collection efforts, withholding is administered directly through the borrower's employer.

No court action is needed, and up to 10 percent of a borrower's disposable income can be withheld and applied to their loan balance, Flautt said.

TGSLC, a federal program established by the state and in existence since 1980, has loaned more than $4 billion to state and private junior colleges and technical schools.

The University of Texas at Austin, with $16 million in student loans in the 1991-1992 academic year, is the biggest participant in the program, Flautt said. Their enrollment for that time period was 97,452. They have a default rate of 4.9 percent.

University of Houston students, who are sixth on the list, have borrowed $8.1 million in comparison to a 65,459 enrollment. They have defaulted on 7.2 percent of those loans, she said.

Michael Curry, a former Texas Southern University student, admitted being in default for 10 years. He said the 3 percent interest rate offered in the 1970s and simple qualifying terms made it easy to get the loan. "When they lost the paperwork and never contacted me, I wasn't going to look for them. I was still in shock in 1987 when they finally caught up with me," he said.

TGSLC now loans money at about 8 percent interest and will loan some students as much as $70,000,Flautt said.

"That's a lot of money to pay back when you graduate and discover your debt exceeds your income level and job expectation," she said.

She also said the corporation's highest default rate, 70 percent, comes from technical and trade school students, not medical students.

Although medical students traditionally borrow more, they haven't found them to default substantially more than other students.

Flautt said she finds the refusal to take advantage of deferment options one of the major reasons for default.

"In the past, we have been adamant about collecting the specific amount required, but now we are more flexible and are listening to the individual," she said. "So far, the response has been great; the phones

are constantly ringing."

*******************************************************

*******************************************************

O`NEAL TO `SHAQ' UP IN MAGIC LAND

BY KEITH ROLLINS

DAILY COUGAR

As if we didn't know, Shaquille O'Neal will be shaqin' up in Orlando. However, we really didn't know that the Houston Rockets would take surprise-pick Robert Horry from Alabama as their No. 1 pick, 11th overall, in the NBA's draft craps shoot last night.

In fact, after the first four picks, no one was absolutely sure where the chips would fall. The draft was the most talented in years, and teams had a lot to choose from.

The Rockets seemed to be leaning toward UCLA forward Tracy Murray or Arkansas' Todd Day. Day went to the Milwaukee Bucks with their eighth overall, and the board looked clear for either Murray or USC's Jordan look-a-like Harold Miner, who was the only player to score 3,000 points in his first three seasons since Lew Alcindor.

Commissioner David Stern announced Horry, and boos from the Rockets fans at the Summit were abundant.

"I guess we fooled everybody. I guess we kept everyone from knowing the person we wanted. We liked Robert since the get-go, and I'm glad he will be a Houston Rocket," Houston GM Steve Patterson said.

The Crimson Tide stand-out, who averaged 15.8 points per game and 8.5 rebounds a game, is projected as a small-forward and will compete with incumbent starter Buck Johnson and Matt Bullard.

"Hopefully, I can come in and help right away. With the likes of Hakeem around, the pressure won't be that great," Horry said. "I will be able to use my shot-blocking abilities and my jump-shots from 15 feet in."

After O'Neal was picked, to no one's surprise, Charlotte took power-forward Alonso Mourning from Georgetown. He will be teamed up with last year's Rookie of the Year Larry Johnson to stand as a formidable Hornet frontline.

The Minnesota Timberwolves went with Duke's Christian Laettner, who, at the time, is busy on the Olympic basketball "Dream Team."

Dallas then chose probably the most versatile player in the draft out of Ohio State, Jimmy Jackson, and the Denver Nuggets saw the daylight with Notre Dame's LaPhonso Ellis.

After Washington took Tom Gugliotta, who was the first player to lead the ACC in rebounding and 3-point-shooting, and Sacramento chose a Magic-al look-alike, 6' 8" point-guard Walt Williams, the Milwaukee Bucks chose the first of three Arkansas Razorbacks to be taken in the first round, Todd Day.

Day, who has had numerous off-court problems, was joined by his Hog back-court buddy, guard Lee Mayberry. The two picks will keep the effective May-Day attack intact.

The Big O, center Oliver Miller, finished the Arkansas talent pool off with an invitation from the Phoenix Suns.

With the ninth pick overall, the Philadelphia 76ers took Clarence Weatherspoon, who plays, scores and rebuilds like a prototype Charles Barkley.

Houston's alleged favorites, Murray and Miner, went to the San Antonio Spurs and Miami Heat, respectively.

By the way, the only SWC player to be taken was late second- rounder Reggie Smith out of Texas Christian.

*******************************************************

*******************************************************

RESEARCH BUCKS BRING UH CHANGE OF IMAGE

BY JIM MOSLEY

DAILY COUGAR

In the dog-eat-dog atmosphere of research-funding, UH has slowly become one of the top research institutions in Texas.

UH is now seventh among Texas' public universities in expenditures for research and development.

"Since 1984, the University of Houston has increased research funding 13 times," said Eric Miller, director of UH Media Relations.

"In 1984, we (UH) received $13 million (in research-funding), and now we receive $41 million."

UH started actively pursuing research-funding in the mid-1980s, before the late Dr. Marguerite Ross Barnett became president and placed extra emphasis on it, Miller said.

The university's funding bonanza can be linked to its faculty.

"The primary credit (for the increased funding) goes to the quality of the faculty," said College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics Dean John Bear. "If the faculty is not innovative, imaginative or original, then they will not bring money in (to the university). Research-funding is based on the quality of the faculty.

"Then (once the institution has quality faculty) you have to create an environment so they can function effectively and efficiently," Bear added.

The College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics tries to bring in faculty who have academics

where they already have strength, Bear said.

"If you have several faculty working in the same area of research, they can function more effectively," Bear said. "The expertise of one helps the expertise of the other. That's the secret (of getting research funds).

"If the faculty is not striving to be the best it can be, and they don't see any good people around, then there will be no competition," Bear added.

Most starting research projects receive their initial funding from UH's Energy Laboratory.

"The Energy Laboratory seed funds professors throughout the university, and from that, they put in for outside grants," Energy Laboratory Assistant Director Tom Maloney said. "We help the faculty members start the ball rolling (on their projects).

"We (the Energy Lab.) do that through a peer review insuring that we get good research," Maloney adds.

Then, after this process, the professor in charge of the project is required to send the proposal to a funding agency, Maloney said.

"What we found is that a lot of agencies will fund work that is in progress and showing some sort of movement," Maloney said. "We give the individual investigator a chance to get some initial data. And then (the researcher can) go to an agency and say, `I have something that's working here, and these are my initial findings. And if you fund me for this amount of time, I can come up with something.'"

Without the Energy Lab, UH would not have as many research grants, Maloney said.

Dr. Terry Golding, of the Space Vacuum Epitaxy Center, has a three-year project in semi-artificial semi-conductors in infrared, which is partially funded by the Energy Lab.

"The project-funding comes from NASA, the state of Texas, Army research and the Energy Lab.," Golding said.

The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) reports that UH has risen to seventh place in the total expenditures on research and development among Texas' public universities. UH has shown a 17.7 percent increase in research-funding since 1990, the THECB said.

According to the THECB, UH ranks third in expenditures on non-health research, behind Texas A & M ($243 million) and the University of Texas ($208 million).

*******************************************************

*******************************************************

WHITMIRE TAPS MAYOR`S WISDON IN QUEST TO IMPROVE DOWNTOWN AREA

BY KAREN SNELLING

DAILY COUGAR

 

Continuing to keep Houston as a number-one priority, former Mayor Kathy Whitmire is looking for ways to rejuvenate downtown Houston.

She coordinated a symposium of mayors entitled "City Slickers: Reinventing the Center City" held on June 22 at Rice University for the purpose of discussing ways to improve downtown.

Mayors Jerry E. Abramson of Louisville, Ky., J.E. "Bud" Clark of Portland, Ore. and Barbara Crews of Galveston, Texas, related experiences of their own inner-city redevelopments and suggested improvement ideas for Houston.

The opinions of non-Houstonians who have expanded their own central cities will be helpful to Houston, Whitmire said.

All three mayors agreed that any major city should make its downtown area its strong point.

Abramson, whose been mayor of Louisville since 1986, said the downtown area maintains all other areas. "If the heart of our community dies, the fingers and toes can't survive," he said.

Abramson discussed how Louisville's redesign has focused on expanding retail areas, improving the environment and changing the city zones.

He said city officials have worked on enhancing the commercial districts of Louisville to attract people to come downtown. They have also restricted the size of office buildings and concentrated on beautifying outside areas, called streetscapes, where people walk and sit, he said.

Mayor of Portland since 1984, Clark said the main part of Portland's rejuvenation has been the transportation system.

Portland's nationally renowned rail system has been seriously considered by Houston's Metro organization as a new method of transportation.

"It's worked extremely well. Thirty-eight percent of all people traveling downtown use the transit system, and in the last election, citizens voted a $250 bond measure to extend the transit 15 miles to the west," he said.

Other projects for Portland have included building a plaza court and arts center downtown.

Clark said he also wanted to preserve the environment so people could ride their bicycles to work like he does. "I ride my bicycle probably 90 percent of the time to City Hall."

Portland earned the Rudy Brunner Award in 1977 for excellence in urban environment thanks to the citizens' dedication to improvement, Clark said.

Elected in 1990, Mayor Crews said Galveston's rejuvenation has been a combination of public and private interest and contributions.

Galveston earns approximately $30 million per year in sales from tourists; thus, private businesses want to attract people to the city, she said.

She also mentioned that residents with an abundance of pride for their city want Galveston preserved because it has so much historical background.

City officials have attempted to attract visitors and residents by preserving old buildings, she said. She gave an example of remodeling an old vacant building so it has retail businesses on the lower levels and condos on the upper levels. This style has attracted many artists and yuppies to our city, she said.

The mayors also discussed problems they've faced with rejuvenating the downtown area.

As a result of the Reagan era, the federal government is not sufficiently funding cities, Abramson said. He suggested that if the federal government would increase city-funding, homelessness would drastically decline.

Clark said city enhancement takes a very long time, and the city is extremely dependent on private investors because citizens' tax money is limited.

Crews said she has encountered pressure from organizations that are against inner-city redevelopment, such as the school district and county.

These groups compete for tax money and have gone as far as suing the city of Galveston because they said they were not getting the money they needed, she said.

William F. Stern, Houston architect and former president of the Rice Design Alliance, moderated the symposium.

This event was sponsored by the Rice Design Alliance and the Rice In

stitute for Policy Analysis.

*******************************************************

*******************************************************

GROUP SPONSORS WORKSHOP AIDS AWARENESS AND SAFE SEX

BY MELISSA NEELEY

DAILY COUGAR

The AIDS Foundation Houston is sponsoring workshops that focus on nearly everything you ever wanted to know about safe sex, but might have been afraid to ask. By educating and eliminating many of the misconceptions associated with HIV transmission through personal hands-on instruction, people can discover fun ways to practice safe sex.

"Our workshops have a very relaxed atmosphere; they are personal since they are usually small, so going to a workshop is like being at a tupperware party with condoms," said Deidre Martin, volunteer facilitator of the workshops.

The workshops are offered at 7 p.m. every third and fourth Tuesday of the month at 3202 Weslayan Annex.

Several safe-sex workshops have been held at the Quadrangle and Moody Towers, yet more need to be given to educate other students about HIV, said J. Barton Loeser, AFH coordinator.

In past workshops at UH, males were more reticent about attending than females, Loeser said. "Guys would look to see what was going on and then walk away like they were embarrassed when they found out what we were talking about. Women were much more open-minded and curious about it," he said.

In this society, men are conditioned to be unaware of their sexuality or they will not be considered macho, said Matt, a gay man who attended the workshop and wished to remain anonymous. He said that he attended the meeting to find out different ways to practice safe sex and to get beyond the myths about HIV transmission.

For example, Matt said he thought that HIV antibodies would not appear on an AIDS test for five years after infection. But Loeser said 90 percent of those exposed and infected to HIV antibodies will test positive after only six months.

The only guarantee one has of not getting AIDS is by being completely abstinent, Loeser said. Since swearing off sex is illogical, one should practice "safer" sex by opting for mutual masturbation, flavored lubricants, massages; as well as oral, rectal, and vaginal sex with a variety of condoms, he said.

"What you do to prevent getting HIV is more important than if you know for a fact that someone you want to be with has tested positive for it," said Danny, another person wishing to remain unnamed and who is also concerned about practicing safe sex.

A man cannot be absolutely sure that his partner does not carry the antibody if he has not been tested, Loeser said. To be on the safe side, it is wise to practice sex in a way which will guarantee security against the virus, he said.

One such measure involves making certain all lubricants used are water-based and not oil-based, since "oil eats away at the condom," Loeser said. Oil-based lubricants include petroleum jelly, yet there are a variety of lubricants, some of which are flavored or scented, which can prevent the spread of AIDS or other sexually transmitted diseases in an enjoyable and creative way, he said.

Some of the flavors of lubricants passed around at the meeting included cherry and mandarin orange. They can be purchased at Walgreens on Montrose, he said.

Condoms of different colors, sizes, and shapes were also distributed to workshop participants, and Loeser warned to check their labels.

"If they (condoms) are from Taiwan or some other Third World nation, it isn't safe to use them because testing procedures aren't as rigid as they are in the United States or Japan, for example," he said.

Martin and a member of the audience demonstrated how to properly use a condom by putting it on a rubber model of a penis. She suggested putting lubrication in the reservoir of the condom to make sex more enjoyable for the person wearing it.

HIV can be transmitted through blood, semen and vaginal fluid. A woman is at a lower risk of getting the virus through sexual intercourse since the vagina is better able to handle the friction of a penis entering it than an anus, which has a thin membrane, Martin said.

If a woman is HIV positive and wants to have sex with an uninfected partner, she can either have her partner wear a condom, or wear a condom herself. Women's condoms, which are inserted into the vagina like a diaphragm, have only recently come into the market, so the price is still fairly high at $2.50 each, Martin said.

Many people who would normally practice safe sex may not do so if they are intoxicated or doing other drugs, Loeser said.

"If you go to a party and meet someone whom you may want to have sex with, limit the number of drinks you have," he said. "If you start drinking, your inhibitions go straight down." Loeser recommends placing condoms and lubricants under the couch or bed to avoid fumbling for them before having sex.

Communication about sex is vital before ever having sex, or regret and fear of receiving HIV or other sexually transmitted diseases may set in afterwards, Loeser said. Fear of communicating about sex often begins in the home when parents are afraid of discussing sexual matters with their children, he said.

*******************************************************

*******************************************************

STATE-OF-THE-ART MCDONALD`S TO OPEN IN FALL

BY DEBORAH HENSEL

DAILY COUGAR

Their goal for the new restaurant is "a state-of-the-art facility with triple-A service," said Marcia.

"We want this to be a place where students can come to catch up on the news on CNN, watch sports, study or just relax and play a few games after acing a test," she said.

Marcia, who holds a degree in home economics with a minor in art from Texas Women's University in Denton, has been involved in planning the interior with a Los Angeles design firm. Primary colors, neon lights and "lots of columns" will characterize the new look.

Construction costs for the new building alone are estimated at $300,000, according to Jim Scott, real-estate construction coordinator for McDonald's South Texas region. Scott said McDonald's had hoped

to have the building up by the beginning of the fall semester, but a revision of the roof design, necessitated by the columns, has delayed securing the building permit. Completion is now expected by mid-September.

McDonald's bought the property at 4005 Elgin from UH in the 1970s. The 19-year-old building had begun to deteriorate, and the kitchen needed to be upgraded to 1992 standards, Scott said.

The complete demolition and rebuilding will cost virtually the same as repairs and remodeling of the

old facility would have cost, Scott said.

*******************************************************

*******************************************************

SCOUTS PREPARING FOR INFLUX OF UH INTERNS

BY TAMRA REINHARDT

DAILY COUGAR

 

No longer content with just elementary schools, The Boy Scouts are setting their sights on the collegiate men and women of America.

A new program, launched by the Boy Scouts of America, is geared toward seniors and second-semester juniors in college.

On-campus recruitment, an intern program, improving employee retention and recruiting active military personnel will be addressed.

Some benefits of the internship include stipends, tuition waivers and classroom credits. Qualified minorities and women will be a special emphasis of the recruitment process.

According to Intern Director Ina Hopiak, interns will receive a full education.

"Interns will experience every aspect of the job -- fund raising, recruiting volunteers and program development," she said.

"Meanwhile, we have the opportunity to evaluate the candidates and determine if they are right for the BSA. If it is a good fit, the intern will be hired after graduation," Hopiak said.

According to Hopiak, the program was designed to enhance professional-employee recruitment and will enable students to prepare for entry-level employment.

"The BSA hopes colleges and students will see this as a credible, top-notch internship," she said. "Eight intern positions in the Houston area will be available for the fall semester of 1992."

Hopiak said the recruitment will enable the BSA to hire professionals who better reflect scouting's membership and the future demographic make-up of American society.

Efforts by the BSA will result in nearly 100 students per year interning in selected metropolitan scout councils.

A $2.3 million grant from the DeWitt Wallace-Reader's Digest Fund made the program possible.

Presently, UH-Central, UH-Downtown, Texas Southern University, Prairie View A & M and Texas A & M are partners in this venture.

With 4.3 million youth members, BSA is the nation's largest youth development organization. Its 397 local councils hire between 500-600 entry-level professionals each year.

*******************************************************

*******************************************************

DIVERSE INTERNSHIPS FROM DIVERSEWORKS

BY GRAM GEMOETS

DAILY COUGAR

DiverseWorks, a sonic temple for performing and visual arts, is known for including UH students both in their internship program and as paid employees.

Currently, several members of the UH community are involved in a new, knock-your-socks-off show called "Rooms." With its premiere, DW hopes to forge into an unknown territory of the senses: the delicate noises of touch.

Finding an internship can be hard, especially in the entertainment field. However, DW is doing its best to bridge an ever-widening gap between arts and unemployment.

UH psychology major Leslie Scates is a prime example of one who has forged art into income. Scates is a featured (and paid) dancer in the new production. A problem for many students is blending bucks with fun. Scates has a response to this.

"I want to pursue a career with my psychology degree, but dance is a creative outlet that just won't go away."

Scates is not directly affiliated with DW but rather is a dancer for Sarah Irwin, director and choreographer of "Rooms." However, without DW providing a location for the performance, Scates and other UH students might be out of work.

Likewise, UH graduate Brian Liem, a fellow Irwin co-worker, will also be featured in the show.

DW, founded in '83, has been accepting interns for the past four years, usually keeping anywhere from three to six interns on staff.

"We get most of our interns in the fall and spring, so the summer is usually slower," intern coordinator and DW assistant director Debra Grotfeldt said. Currently, DW is providing intern opportunities for two UH students.

"Through our internship program, students get hands-on experience in visual and audio arts, creating unlimited opportunities for the future," Grotfeldt added.

Just because you work with DW doesn't mean you'll be in the spotlight. New employees and interns alike can expect to take a more backstage role.

Students gain invaluable training in artist relations, sculpture exhibition and the total promotion of special events, which include setting up project portfolios and seeing them through to the end. An intern can expect to learn everything from ticket sales to theatrical lighting. Instant stardom is not a job requirement.

One former intern and current UH student Stefan Stout is now a regular, paid employee at DW. Stout is responsible for the lighting in the new show. "Everybody has been great, and the transition from intern to regular employee went very smoothly," Stout said. Al Herrman, a former UH intern, is also working with the company on a regularly paid basis.

DW seeks diverse people. Andrea Lazan, who works closely with the interns and new-hires, said all types of students are considered for intern programs. "We have taken people from all areas, including English, art history, drama...really just anybody interested in our work."

Grotfeldt added that the most successful interns are those involved in

crossovers between visual arts and performance.

*******************************************************

*******************************************************

ROOMS OPENS

BY KIM STOILIS

DAILY COUGAR

What? DiverseWorks' "Rooms." When? Friday and Saturday, June 26 and 27, at 8 p.m. Where? 1117 East Freeway. How? Tickets, call 228-0914.

Houston choreographer and artist Sarah Irwin (pictured above with Elise Werman) will premiere her latest: "Rooms."

By telling stories with their bodies and voices, the featured group of seven dancers and three musicians will create new language.

Rarely are we allowed to visualize sound or to experience the delicate noises of touch. DW will forge into this unknown territory of the senses.

This is no ordinary performance of modern dance. The movements of the dancers will be translated into sound via the Body Chime.

Designed by Dan Schaff, the Body Chime is a musical instrument prototype which will sense and orchestrate the movements of the dancers.

Simultaneously, video artist Christopher Johnson will provide a surreal visual backdrop.

*******************************************************

*******************************************************

LEWIS QUALIFIES FOR SPAIN VISIT IN LONG-JUMP; THREE-PEAT BID FAILS

BY KEITH ROLLINS

DAILY COUGAR

Carl Lewis finally got his plane ticket to Barcelona confirmed after qualifying in the long-jump event Wednesday in New Orleans, La.

The 1984 and 1988 Olympic gold medalist in the event, Lewis leaped to second place at the U.S. trials behind world-record holder Mike Powell, enabling Lewis to advance.

Even though the 100m record holder, Lewis, cannot attain stardom in Spain in his favorite and best event, the 31-year-old will still be taking his seat in Olympic history for the fourth time in four tries this coming August.

The ageless wonder, who set the 100m record at 9.86 seconds just 10 short months ago, battled heat exhaustion and a multiple-race schedule to finish sixth in the 100m final. Dennis Mitchell, Mark Witherspoon and former Cougar sprinter Leroy Burrell filled the available spots, all times being well-behind Lewis' record time.

"It's impossible to predict how difficult it will be for me to sit out the biggest race of the year, watching my friends, teammates and competitors going for the gold," Lewis said in his Houston Chronicle Olympic diary.

The fourth-place finisher was Mike Marsh, who trains at Robertson Stadium with Lewis and Burrell. Marsh and the other three top qualifiers will represent the United States in the sprint relay, taking another gold medal out of Lewis' hands. Lewis and Co. have won the gold medal in the 4 X 100- meter relay in 1984 and 1988.

The loss also terminally ended Lewis' attempt to three-peat in the 100m.

"I'm used to being in the starting blocks, not the stands, but I'm adjusting to the idea. Luckily, I compete in multiple events and plan on doing well in Barcelona and beyond," Lewis said.

His trial participation will continue this weekend as he tries to qualify in the 200m event. In 1984, Lewis won the gold in the event and took the silver in 1988 behind ex-Cougar sprinter Joe DeLoach.

Current Cougar sprinter Michelle Collins will take her stab at the ladies 200m sprint this weekend also. Collins was the NCAA 200m indoor champion this year.

Carol Lewis, Carl's sister, will make her long-jump appearance in the coming days, trying to regain her form after sustaining a leg injury last year. The Lewis family could make a 1-2 punch in that event.

*******************************************************

*******************************************************

ITZA PIZZA HUT

BY MEAGAN MCGOVERN

DAILY COUGAR

Pizza, parking and policies were some of the issues resolved at Wednesday's Board of Regents meeting.

The board met to discuss topics ranging from the establishment of a new Honors College to repairs on the M. D. Anderson Library roof.

Several changes implemented will directly affect students. The extension of the contract with ARASERVE INC. will allow not only more flexibility in board plans for resident students, but will also allow for the installation of a Pizza Hut Express restaurant in the UC Satellite.

Bill Wentz, general manager for ARA, said the Pizza Hut will be in place by the fall semester. "It'll be the standard recipe for Pizza Hut pizza. The restaurant will replace the current Itza Pizza outlet in the Satellite and will feature personal pan-pizzas."

ARA will purchase the franchise and run the restaurant with its own employees, but it will have to conform to strict Pizza Hut regulations, Wentz said.

In addition, two parking lots providing 544 more parking spaces will be built at the corner of Cullen and Elgin Blvds. by August 31 at a cost of $717,268.

The UH Honors College was officially established by the board. The college will incorporate the current Honors program and will be open to students of all disciplines.

The board also approved the construction of a new alumni facility. The original site of the facility, at the corner of Elgin and Cullen Blvds., was changed. The new 18,000 square-foot facility will be adjacent to, and a part of, the new athletic facility.

Because of the new location of the alumni facility, the board voted to return a gift of $475,723.06 to LeRoy Melcher, at his request. The donation was originally intended to help finance the facility at its first proposed location.

The board also renewed the service agreement of Chancellor Alexander Schilt. Under the new contract, Schilt will remain chancellor until September 30, 2000. "This is an unprecedented move and is not intended to be precedent-setting," said John Cater, chairman of the Board of Regents. To recognize Schilt in this way establishes continuity, he said, and "continuity brings excellence in leadership." The salary for Schilt will remain the same under the new contract.

Other items discussed by the board were the establishment of a new Interdisciplinary Science degree, a bachelor of arts degree in earth science, and cutbacks in the degree program for UH-Clear Lake.

"This has been a long and difficult year for us," said Glenn Goerke, president of UH-Clear Lake, of the cutbacks and administrative reorganization.

Some changes were made in tuition for students on the Victoria and Clear Lake campuses, but at the central campus, only the College of Technology was hit by a minimal fee increase for students in certain classes.

The board also approved an increase in room and board prices in order to meet increased operational costs.

*******************************************************

*******************************************************

BLACK ENTERPRISES BLOSSOMING IN HOUSTON AREA

BY ERICKA SCHICHE

DAILY COUGAR

 

For Mary Baker, owner of the Family Cafe, success is predicated on simple, yet solid principles.

In Baker's words, putting "God first, through faith, patience, perseverance and tolerance" has enabled her to maintain a business during recessionary times.

"The satisfaction of seeing customers enjoy eating prepared food -- that is the satisfaction for me," said Baker, her eyes lighting up as she speaks. "I like having a decent place where blacks can come to eat decent food that is prepared by blacks in a predominantly black neighborhood."

Baker is but one of many black entrepreneurs who have carved niches in their respective industries and are also in a position to define success for themselves. Although the black unemployment rate for 1991 totalled 12.4 percent, these business persons have made it possible for some of the seemingly "unemployable" to find work.

Baker employs eight people, 50 percent of which are what she calls "at-risk employees who are getting a second chance." Her 14-table restaurant can accommodate 50 seated patrons on a busy day.

"It's so congested in here on Friday -- you just want to throw your hands up," she said, with a look of dread on her face, knowing her employees will have to serve a steady stream of hungry customers on pay day.

Baker said she is doing what entrepreneurs should be doing: reinvesting in her business, reaching out to the community with such projects as a joint Thanksgiving dinner project with the Houston Rockets, improving conditions for employees and aggressively promoting her business through advertising. While she and her employees serve such favorites as peach cobbler, broiled chicken, gumbo and ox tails, Joe Head, publisher of the Greater Houston-Galveston Black Pages business directory, is busy combing the streets to find black entrepreneurs.

"I think the most successful black businesses in Houston are the ones that provide the best services to the majority of people," he said. The sixth edition of the directory -- a 1992-93 edition that will be distributed in two weeks -- will include a listing of the most successful (in terms of gross sales) black-owned businesses in Texas.

Gold Line Refining Ltd., a corporation that converts crude oil into such products as military jet fuel, diesel fuel and gas oil, grossed $35.7 million in 1991. Earl Thomas, who founded his business in 1990 and now serves as chief executive, forged ahead in an industry which has few black pioneers. He employs 51 people in the Houston-based operation, which is ranked 28th in the nation among 100 black-owned industrial/service companies according to Black Enterprise Research.

"When you walk through the doors of a bank to secure finances -- I would like to say that if you're black, you'll have the same opportunity as anyone else, but I just don't think that's the case," said Thomas, a former pro-football player.

Although Thomas had money saved from his days as a player, he attributes his start-up success to the "tremendous amount of sacrifices I've made all of my life" and to a "tremendous staff which allows me to interject my eccentric ideas."

Thomas, who sold casing and tubing products for oil wells prior to establishing the refinery, said "When you're going down a road where there aren't a lot of black pioneers, your performance is always questioned." Nevertheless, as one who has benefitted from having a strong business plan, Thomas offers this advice to black entrepreneurs: "You have to have seed money, collateral."

"I think it (establishing a successful business) can be done by anyone; it just depends on willingness and the ability to hang in there," said Thomas. Complacency is one weakness Thomas warns against: "When one becomes satisfied, one becomes complacent."

Despite problems they may have securing capital, getting loans and staying in business, potential black entrepreneurs can find another success story in Denise Armstrong, who prefers to be called the proprietor of Amistad Bookplace, said she considers a book store "successful if it stays open and if you're getting good feedback from the customers." Armstrong's book store has hosted readings by such black authors as J. California Cooper, Ntozake Shange, Ruby Dee, Thomas Meloncon and Haki Madhubuti.

Because of the small profit margin that is linked with specialty book stores, Armstrong said her venture has not been lucrative, but that it has "filled a void," in a market that now includes such book stores as the Shrine of the Black Madonna Book Store and Nia Art Gallery & Book Shop.

Like Armstrong, John S. Chase, Fellow of the American Institute of Architects -- founder of three architectural firms which employ a total of 40 people in Houston, Dallas and Washington D.C. -- has experienced longevity. Since 1952, when he became the first black graduate of the University of Texas in the School of Architecture, Chase's company has been partially responsible for the designs of the new UH Science building, the George R. Brown Convention Center and several buildings on the campus of Texas Southern University.

His company is undertaking its most challenging project to date: the design of the U.S. Embassy in Tunis, Tunisia. The $50 million project consists of a building designed in Arabian style that will be made of reinforced concrete and plaster.

A recipient of distinguished alumnus awards from Hampton University and from UT, Chase said one key to his success as an entrepreneur is that he has learned to "work hard, hard, hard to take the dollars earned in architecture and invest them in other things.

*******************************************************

*******************************************************

RESEARCH BUCKS BRING UH CHANGE OF IMAGE

BY JIM MOSLEY

DAILY COUGAR

In the dog-eat-dog atmosphere of research-funding, UH has slowly become one of the top research institutions in Texas.

UH is now seventh among Texas' public universities in expenditures for research and development.

"Since 1984, the University of Houston has increased research funding 13 times," said Eric Miller, director of UH Media Relations.

"In 1984, we (UH) received $13 million (in research-funding), and now we receive $41 million."

UH started actively pursuing research-funding in the mid-1980s, before the late Dr. Marguerite Ross Barnett became president and placed extra emphasis on it, Miller said.

The university's funding bonanza can be linked to its faculty.

"The primary credit (for the increased funding) goes to the quality of the faculty," said College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics Dean John Bear. "If the faculty is not innovative, imaginative or original, then they will not bring money in (to the university). Research-funding is based on the quality of the faculty.

"Then (once the institution has quality faculty) you have to create an environment so they can function effectively and efficiently," Bear added.

The College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics tries to bring in faculty who have academics

where they already have strength, Bear said.

"If you have several faculty working in the same area of research, they can function more effectively," Bear said. "The expertise of one helps the expertise of the other. That's the secret (of getting research funds).

"If the faculty is not striving to be the best it can be, and they don't see any good people around, then there will be no competition," Bear added.

Most starting research projects receive their initial funding from UH's Energy Laboratory.

"The Energy Laboratory seed funds professors throughout the university, and from that, they put in for outside grants," Energy Laboratory Assistant Director Tom Maloney said. "We help the faculty members start the ball rolling (on their projects).

"We (the Energy Lab.) do that through a peer review insuring that we get good research," Maloney adds.

Then, after this process, the professor in charge of the project is required to send the proposal to a funding agency, Maloney said.

"What we found is that a lot of agencies will fund work that is in progress and showing some sort of movement," Maloney said. "We give the individual investigator a chance to get some initial data. And then (the researcher can) go to an agency and say, `I have something that's working here, and these are my initial findings. And if you fund me for this amount of time, I can come up with something.'"

Without the Energy Lab, UH would not have as many research grants, Maloney said.

Dr. Terry Golding, of the Space Vacuum Epitaxy Center, has a three-year project in semi-artificial semi-conductors in infrared, which is partially funded by the Energy Lab.

"The project-funding comes from NASA, the state of Texas, Army research and the Energy Lab.," Golding said.

The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) reports that UH has risen to seventh place in the total expenditures on research and development among Texas' public universities. UH has shown a 17.7 percent increase in research-funding since 1990, the THECB said.

According to the THECB, UH ranks third in expenditures on non-health research, behind Texas A & M ($243 million) and the University of Texas ($208 million).

 

 

 

 

 

Visit The Daily Cougar