LIBRARY HITS ROCK-BOTTOM AS FUNDING PROBLEMS CAUSE RANKING TO PLUMMET

by Melinda McBride

Daily Cougar Staff

The Association of Research Libraries recently ranked 107 universities nationwide. In 1991-1992, Harvard took first place. UH earned 107th.

"We've been beating the administration over the head with this for years," Robin Downes, director of Libraries, said about M.D. Anderson Library's decline after 1984.

Since 1984, M.D. Anderson dropped from the mid-point of the Association of Research Libraries' members to the bottom.

The association ranks universities based on "measures of effort." They consider the size of the library staff, journals subscribed to, number of bound volumes in their collection and the amount of books added each year. Last year, the library's $7 million budget added 12,000 books to the existing six million.

While $7 million may seem like a considerable budget, the median expenditure for ARL members is $12 million.

"It was reasonable to assume that, unless this downward trend was reversed," said Downes, "UH would be placed on probation and then declared ineligible for membership."

Downes has worked with several different administrations during his 12 years in the UH library system. "There were many players and many administrators (since 1984), and a lot happened in the 1980s," Downes said, describing UH's "shifting priorities."

The library is funded at a lower percentage than any other Texas university library except TSU. Downes said UH's 40 doctoral programs, graduate programs, staff and students have suffered from neglect.

"Our total expenditures were lower than just about all other libraries serving comparable institutions," said Kathleen Gunning, assistant director for Public Services and Collection Development. The association's results included universities ranging from number-one Harvard to publicly-funded universities.

Despite the last-place finish, UH is described in the Undergraduate Studies catalog as "a major, public, comprehensive research university."

The faculty are required by their jobs to do research, Downes said. "If they want to keep their jobs, they have to do research, and they have to publish."

"We have collections of, let's take one of many examples -- physics journals -- and there may be four copies of these journals in the state of Texas ... and because there are not that many people doing advanced research in material science -- take Paul Chu for example -- there's no need for most libraries to spend $2,000 on a journal."

Journals cost between $2,000 and $8,000 for a year's subscription. And even though 4,000 journal subscriptions have been cancelled since 1986 and staffing has been cut by 20 percent, last year almost no books were purchased.

Downes said the library spent less and less but tried to maintain the cutting-edge research journals. "We left up to each department how much they spent on books and journals. Some disciplines ended up spending practically all their money on journals." The remaining money, five percent of their budget, was spent on books. "It was just devastating the book collection."

Downes said regardless of its last-place standing, UH research funding during the past 12 years "has gone from attracting maybe $10,000 to almost $50 million a year."

The recent addition of a $15 student library fee, suggested and approved by students, is expected to upgrade the library.

The budget increases for 1992-1993 should improve M.D. Anderson's overall ranking from 107th to approximately 85th, Downes said.

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UNDERGRADUATE COUNCIL TACKLES PREREQUISITES, REGISTRATION

by Melissa Neeley

Daily Cougar Staff

The Undergraduate Council changed the necessary prerequisites for some classes Wednesday and also discussed ways to make students pay their fees on time.

The council changed four history classes prerequisites so the courses can satisfy students' cultural heritage requirements.

Western Civilizations to 1450, Western Civilizations since 1450, Early Civilizations and Modern Civilizations will now be changed to 2000-level classes from their previous 1000 level.

Students must now pass English 1304 before they can take the classes.

The council increased the English standards because students will need to be able to write a research paper to get into these classes, said Rosalie Maddocks, council chairperson.

The courses United States to 1877 and the United States after 1877, formerly 2000-level courses, will be changed to 1000-level courses.

The Undergraduate Council is composed of faculty representing various UH colleges who discuss and vote upon issues affecting students. Class changes, student registration and class requirements must all be approved by the council before they become a permanent part of UH policy.

A council vote during the meeting may also change teaching at UH.

The vote made it a policy for administrators holding faculty positions, having tenure or on tenure track, to teach at least one class each academic year, Maddocks said.

This includes some deans who have not taught because of their professional standing.

The meeting also focused on registration problems.

Mario Lucchesi, director of Registration and Academic Records, said according to unofficial fall enrollment statistics, 20 percent of students who registered late for their classes have not paid their fees.

"This semester 400 students who were not registered went to add/drop. They should have gone through late registration instead," he said.

If students do not pay their fees on time, they will not get their classes, Lucchesi said.

Students may have not paid simply because they did not have the money on the due date, Lucchesi said. However, other reasons such as being out of town on the fee payment date were used as excuses by students, he said.

Council members proposed that the Bursar's office should credit the accounts of those students who want to pay before the due date but cannot make the fee payment on the given day.

Council members also discussed moving late registration after add/drop to give students more of a chance to get into crowded classes.

Other registration problems were blamed on having priority and regular registration fee payments due on the same date. Some students who may have priority registered months before the fall semester could have had extenuating circumstances preventing them from attending school in the fall, he said.

Lucchesi said often an accurate class count could not be made so some classes which stated they were closed were actually open.

Priority registration fee bills for the Spring will not be mailed as they were this semester. They will be ready for pick up at the University Center for one day on Jan. 13.

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POWER FAILURE FORCES CLASS DISMISSALS, CANCELLATIONS

by Claudia Gutierrez de Velasco and Kristine Fahrenholz

News Reporters

Seven UH buildings suffered a power outage Wednesday afternoon as work crews tried to install electrical metering equipment in Science and Research Building I.

The power failed at around 1 p.m. and was restored 30 minutes later to all buildings except S & R 1, said Thomas Wray, director of operations and maintenance at the Physical Plant.

"There were no injuries," said Herbert Collier, executive director of the Physical Plant.

The Fleming Building, Agnes Arnold Hall, Hofheinz Pavilion, the UC Satellite, the Ezekial Cullen building's basement offices, PGH and S & R I and II were affected.

Classes were canceled in some of the buildings due to the power failure. Administrators cancelled evening classes in S&R I as power had not been restored by nightfall.

The meter is used to measure buildings' electrical loads. The short caused the main breaker to trip in the central plant, Wray said.

"The power was out for about 30 minutes, but there were no major problems," said Ruby John, an employee at the game room in the Satellite.

"We were waiting for class to start on the third floor of PGH and the lights went out for about five to 10 minutes," junior Phillip Baeza said.

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GOP CONGRESSIONAL CANDIDATE BLAMES CONGRESS, LOBBYIST FOR NATION'S FOR NATION'S WOES

by Channing King

News Reporter

When most people experience a mid-life crisis, they often take up new hobbies or buy sports cars.

When Dolly Madison McKenna experienced hers, she decided to run for Congress.

On Wednesday, McKenna, the Republican candidate for the 25th Congressional District, placed the blame for the United States' woes on Congress.

"If we're going to change things in Washington, we have to change the way Congress works. Congress doesn't work," she said.

Congressional legislation, or the lack of such legislation, said McKenna, is unduly influenced by former colleagues acting as lobbyists.

Former representatives can be on the floor of the House, she said, and ex-senators can roam the floor of the House and Senate.

McKenna said she chose to run for the House of Representatives this year because of redistricting. Forty-two percent of the people in the 25th District are new members of the constituency not bound to incumbent Democrat Mike Andrews, she said.

McKenna, who worked for Richard Nixon's Committee for Re-Election of the President in 1972, said there is an undercurrent of anti-incumbent feeling working in her favor.

Jeff Patterson, press secretary for Andrews, said 900 people in the district have volunteered to act as campaign coordinators. First elected in 1982, Andrews has received 2000 requests for yard signs.

"Andrews has had a hand in everything in the 25th District. He's worked to help businesses and create jobs," said Patterson. "Andrews has a tremendous base of support."

McKenna said political action committees are currently the biggest problem with the system. She said her opponent has received $1.5 million from PACs.

Patterson said the congressman's grassroots campaign has received over 1000 individual contributions. Every dollar received by a PAC, he said, is matched by a dollar from an individual.

McKenna said she supported Bush's veto of the Family Leave Bill. The mandatory leave, she said, would force many small businesses into bankruptcy.

Patterson said the bill would only affect businesses with more than 50 employees. He said 95 percent of small businesses would be exempt from providing the mandatory leave.

McKenna expressed her support for a woman's choice to have an abortion. She said she does not support the "gag rule" on health clinics and she doesn't back federal funding for the procedure. She said the funding would constitute an extra entitlement program, to which she is opposed.

The 25th Congressional District covers Alief, Braeswood, the Astrodome and the Channelview area.

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IN THE MOOOOD FOR MUSIC? MILKMEN THE DAIRY BEST.

by Gram Gemoets

Daily Cougar Staff

The Dead Milkmen are making a Houston delivery tonight at the Vatican. Although they're arriving with less fanfare than the Republicans during August's convention, they carry as many political opinions.

Lead singer Rodney Anonymous (aka HP Hovercraft) thinks "voting is for losers," but his convictions sing a different tune. As an icon for "alternative culture," Anonymous is a beacon for political action.

The champagne has popped as their much-heralded new release, <I>Soul Rotation <P>, has hit the market, and the group is on the first leg of its U.S. tour. The album itself speaks little of real world politics and is preoccupied with flying saucers and alien beings.

Yet this does have a place in the scheme of reality. Anonymous is a political alien with a penchant for riot stimulation.

In a recent interview, Anonymous reinforced a long- circulated idea -- that he'd be more aptly titled Barry Obnoxious.

"I don't see the point in voting," Anonymous said, "it's hypocritical. You are voting so you don't have to make any decisions. If you don't want to make any decision, why vote at all? Besides, I hate to commit myself."

Stunned? Probably not in light of the fact that few American students vote anyway. In a sense, Anonymous has achieved his goal of convincing people to do nothing. Right? Wrong, very wrong.

"I think if you really want to change things, you have to revolt. That's why I say all that anti-Christ stuff on stage, to get people to riot."

This might sound strange coming from anyone else, but from the lips of Anonymous, a man whose favorite president was Nixon, "because he showed us not to trust politicians," it all sounds normal.

Granted, not everyone accepts his doctrine without question. In fact, the band encountered a very inquisitive crowd at a recent concert.

"We were doing an outdoor show somewhere in the Bible Belt, and I started in with all my rhetoric. The crowd didn't like it much, and when I did a stage dive, they started kicking my ass," Anonymous said.

Needless to say, the crowd of some 1,000 onlookers felt purged seeing a not-so-pop icon being thrashed. Stunned executives at Hollywood Records "wept openly", knowing that countless T-shirts and posters went unsold.

Anonymous admitted he has had a hard time being accepted by society.

"Everyone thinks we do this crazy music as a joke, but I take it seriously. You just have to shake people up a bit," he said.

As a college student, Anonymous experienced the same reactions he now gets on stage.

"I was a political science major, and I dropped out. In fact, I'm the only band member without a college degree," he said.

Not that a degree is a prerequisite for making a total buffoon of yourself in whatever city you happen to find yourself.

Anonymous went on to describe life on the road (he sleeps well on buses) and the various roach motels he has stayed in (crack houses, really), but his most interesting comments continued to stem from his off-the-wall political views.

"We were in Yugoslavia right before everything erupted down there. We narrowly escaped. I would have liked to have been around for a good riot, maybe even participate in revolution," he said.

If Anonymous' stage performance is anything like his radical personality, watch out -- this may be a show not to miss. Even if you don't like their music, you can bring ripe vegetables to hurl at the stage.

"I'm not afraid to be booed off stage; go on, I dare you." This coming from a man who has been booed from some of the best stages in America and Europe.

Anonymous said that the "free press" makes up their own quotes to satisfy their own needs, to make people say what they wish they had really said. Is that what's happening here? You decide.

 

 

 

 

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