REASONS FOR LACK FACULTY DEFICIT VARY

by Mindi King

News Reporter

The low number of rank African-American faculty at UH is a reflection of the small pool of potential applicants, a UH dean said.

Jerald Strickland, dean of the College of Optometry, said the small applicant pool is the reason for the low number of African-American rank faculty, meaning those professors who are tenured or are on the tenure-track, in the College of Optometry and other "health science" colleges.

There is one rank African-American faculty member in the college, he said.

The university needs to be more diligent in attracting African-American students, with the hope they will one day be potential professors, he said. Although this move would be a fundamental step toward solving the problem, it is a multi-layered problem, leaving many areas open for improvement, he added.

Harrell Rodgers, dean of the College of Social Sciences, said the primary problem is the high demand on a small pool of African-Americans available, combined with the school's high standards for hiring faculty members.

"A Ph.D. does not guarantee that a person, regardless of race, is qualified to work at UH," he said.

There are 35,000 universities in the country who are competing for a small number of possible candidates, he said. There are three rank African-American faculty members in his college, he said.

For the past few years, Rodgers added, there has been an effort within the college to hire minority faculty, and within his seven years as dean, 60 percent of the faculty hired has been women and minorities.

A departmental recruitment committee is set up each year by Rodgers, focusing on the recruitment of minority faculty, he said.

"It's a cumulative process," Rodgers said, "The harder you try, the more you learn about the different avenues available to find people."

Grace Butler, associate vice president for faculty affairs, said 48 African-American and Mexican-American faculty members have been hired under the Minority Faculty Recruitment Incentive Program since its inception in 1985.

She said the program provides funding for the recruiting and hiring of African-American and Mexican-American faculty. Currently, there are 28 African-American rank faculty members out of 933 at UH, she said.

For a faculty member hired under the program, 80 percent of the salary is paid the first year by the university and 20 percent by the college, she added. The second year, 70 percent is paid by UH, and the third year and thereafter, 50 percent, she said.

The program works well for most colleges. However, for the various disciplines that have a lower number of candidates, there is a need to tap outside networks, she added.

"There are many unconventional resources available that need to be utilized," she said. An example is the minority doctoral directory, which lists names of minorities nationwide who have doctoral degrees.

However, these people are not necessarily qualified to fill positions at UH, she added.

University-funded doctoral fellowships would also increase the number of African-Americans available to fill teaching positions, but none are currently offered at UH, Butler said.

James Pipkin, dean of the College of Humanities, Fine Arts and Communication, said although there are a higher number of African-Americans seeking teaching positions in HFAC than in other fields, the pool of candidates in all areas needs to be increased.

There are nine rank African-American faculty members in the college, he said.

A challenge grant awarded to HFAC in December provides $2.66 million for the areas of African-American literature and African-American history, he said. The grant is intended to attract more students to further their studies in these areas and to eventually increase the number of African-Americans seeking teaching positions.

The incentive program is enormously important to the hiring of African-Americans at UH, Pipkin said, adding that the great cities and universities of the 21st century will be those who see difference "not as a source of division, but a source of richness."

 

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PLAY TO GRADUATE, NOT JUST TO WIN, SAYS B-BALL COACH

by Jenny Silverman

News Reporter

The adage, "Winning isn't everything," is held as a truth by Jessie Kenlaw, head coach of the University of Houston's female basketball team.

"Since I've been here, two years, all of the young ladies on the team have graduated," she said. This has been one of Kenlaw's primary goals for the team.

While coaching the team to victories at the NCAA and NIT is a gratifying and important job, Kenlaw, one of only a few female African-American coaches, feels that it is more important to help each Lady Cougar develop as an individual.

"I want each young lady to walk away from the team with more than just the ability to play basketball. The basketball training gives the young ladies the discipline that will be useful after they leave the university," Kenlaw said.

Discipline has never been a problem with Kenlaw. Growing up in Guiton, Georgia, around a brother who played basketball for Georgia Southern University, Kenlaw knew she wanted to be involved in the teaching aspects of the sport early in her life.

Although Kenlaw has played basketball with the Houston Angels, teaching remains as her true love.

Kenlaw began her coaching career as assistant coach at Lamar High School.

"Greg Williams, the athletic director at Lamar, believed in me. He recommended me for the position at UH."

Kenlaw says she has never faced discrimination issues, as Williams believed in her and supported her completely.

"I believe in taking one day at a time," Kenlaw said. While the much-longed-for goal of leading the team to victory at the Southwest Conference has yet to be realized, the process is a slow one, she said, and one that is approached every day.

While the Lady Cougars are a team, Kenlaw is concerned with each individual's improvement as a goal.

This attitude of individual importance has led to success in the past, and if tenacity and dedication are a measure of future success, the Lady Cougars, led by Kenlaw, are heading for many seasons of victory on all courts, not just basketball.

 

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INTERRACIAL RELATIONSHIPS POSE CHALLENGE TO STUDENTS

by Margarita Rosado

News Reporter

Although the University of Houston is full of interracial couples, the idea of mixing races is still a volatile issue, leaving students in interracial relationships facing the problem of societal rejection.

Interracial marriage has been legal for just 25 years, but some students and professors say the idea has still not been accepted by society.

UH cultural psychology professor Yolanda Flores-Niemann, who teaches multicultural understanding, is a Mexican-American married to a Caucasian. She said society is hard on their children, a problem she solves by making sure she and her husband take extra time to help their children be proud of who they are.

"I think when people get married, they are looking for qualities inside one another ... and color becomes irrelevant," Flores-Niemann said.

The party in the relationship who is pressured most by society can depend on which one is the minority.

"I think it's harder when the female is the minority in the relationship because she is faced with a lot more ridicule and harassment from the men in her race," freshman Felicia Johnson said.

Some of the prejudice involved in interracial dating occurs in the home, instead of by society at large. Several couples said the major cause of their break-ups were family members.

"My first and only experience dating a white girl lasted two years. We broke up because her father would come up to school and threaten my life if I did not stop dating his daughter," junior economics major Lynderick Creeks said.

Some students say the racial conflict just makes the relationship stronger.

Michele-Marie Leguillou, a sophomore political science major, said being Puerto Rican and dating a white American can be difficult, but "when two people from two different races in America can love each other, then that's true love."

 

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RAPPER SOULJAH EXPLAINS AMERICA'S RACIAL 'WAR'

by Ericka Schiche

Daily Cougar Staff

When Sister Souljah shed tears Wednesday night near the end of her address, the drops did not fall for those who have been victims of institutionalized racism.

Rather, she cried for black women who do not respect themselves and who have been the victims of bad relationships, during her Black Student Union-sponsored speech titled "A Push for Unity."

In doing so, the woman who has been labeled a "raptivist" revealed a side of her personality that had been hidden from the public eye.

At times during her address, which attracted an audience of over 400 to the UC Houston room, she seemed to place an emphasis on her phrase, "We are at war." She called on men, women and children in the audience to cast off the chains placed on them by brain-washing and racism and become soldiers in an army to liberate African people throughout the world.

"Most people that have come to know me have come to know me through a five-second or a 10- second sound-bite on television.

"If I were to let the television define who I am as an African woman, they would tell you that I am a crazy, irrational, hateful, hate-mongering, angry black rapper who doesn't know what I'm talking about," she said during the introduction to her speech on how black people can unite with others and become empowered.

She told an enthusiastic throng of supporters and other interested listeners why she decided to become a rapper.

"What I learned about propaganda is that the American government has the ability to create characters and images that made the people in the American public think that they thought of things on their own when they had actually been directed to think of those things," she said, referring to the image of such figures as Uncle Sam.

Through her raps, Sister Souljah -- who majored in history while attending Rutgers University -- said she is attempting to dispel myths about people in her community and support positive images of African people.

She also told the audience the meaning behind her name. Her family name is Williamson

"<i>Soul<p> means the essence of all things, and <i>jah<p> means God, and Sister Souljah means the spirit of God.

"Most of our people don't want to call ourselves African people because of the way the media has portrayed our people in such a shameful and hateful way.

"Usually, when you see a portrayal of Africa, you see a white woman with blonde hair and blue eyes come out, and she's holding a naked African baby with a bloated stomach and a big head, and flies are buzzing all around the place, and she comes into your television in your living room and she says, 'Hello, I'm Sally Struthers. I'm standing here in the middle of Kenya with little Abdullah, and he doesn't have anything to eat,'" she said, drawing laughter from her predominantly black audience.

"There is a reason to believe that you're an African person, and it has more to do with a way of life than a particular hair style or a particular khoufi (hat) or a particular daishiki (shirt) or the different words that we say."

Sister Souljah stressed the importance of unity and collective responsibility.

"The first thing that you should know in the African tradition is that <i>I<p> means <i>we<p>. What that means is that I am you, and you are me, and we are us, and us is them, and them is they, and we are us, and we are all in this together.

"In the African tradition, there is no such thing as, 'I'm getting paid for me, and I'm breaking out after I get paid and later for the rest of y'all because it (the community) doesn't matter anyway,' " she said, emphatically.

"There is no such thing as money being God and rugged individualism and I, I, I, I, I because <i>I<p> means <i>we<p> in the African tradition."

Rites of passage, especially into womanhood, have more significance in Africa than they do here, she said.

Sister Souljah, who is wedded to the concepts of self-love, self help and economic self-sufficiency challenged the students in the audience to work with friends to collect seed money to establish businesses.

"A lot of people get confused. They think that I think that we should all run around in fatigues, with AK-47s, just blowing up all of the white people we see.

"When I say we are at war, that is not what I mean. The first thing that you should understand about war is that somebody can declare war on you without your permission," she said.

"You know a state of war exists any time anybody tries to take from you that which is rightfully yours -- your ability to think, to control your own thoughts and ideas, your ability to move freely in a society that purports to be free."

She said racism is supported by a system of power and that it renders people powerless; she added that there is no such thing as a black racist.

 

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COUGAR DECK CARDS, 89-81

by Adam King

Daily Cougar Staff

Houston center Charles "Bo" Outlaw wasn't happy with the call, and he was smiling even less when he had to sit on the bench with his fifth foul.

But even Outlaw admitted he couldn't have asked for a better result as the Cougars, 16-6, downed the No. 22-ranked Louisville Cardinals, 14-8, 89-81 in front of a Sunday crowd of 6,681 in Hofheinz Pavilion.

With the Cougars holding on to a tenacious 67-62 lead with 7:10 remaining in the second half, Outlaw collected his fifth foul, sending him out of the game with only nine points and four rebounds. It forced coach Pat Foster to go to his bench.

The 6-foot-10 freshman Jermaine Johnson got the call. The Cardinals probably wish he hadn't.

Louisville closed to within one on a Dwayne Morton three-pointer at 67-66. Cougar point guard Anthony Goldwire then took the ball down-court, drove the lane and missed the layup. But Johnson was there for the tip-in to put the lead back to three and thwart the Cardinals' opportunity to go ahead of the Cougars.

Johnson nailed two clutch shots from the charity stripe with the Cardinals down seven and 1:22 left to push the score to 83-74.

With Houston leading 85-77 and Louisville threatening to make the game interesting in the final minute, Johnson blocked Greg Minor's lay-up attempt into the glass, came down with the ball and passed to guard David Diaz, who was fouled and who led four Houston players in double figures with 22 points.

Diaz sank both free-throws to take the Cougars out of trouble, 87-77, with 46 seconds left.

"They (Louisville) probably said, 'Outlaw's out. Now's our chance to do this or that,'" said Outlaw, who also finished with eight assists. "Jermaine went straight up for me. He stepped in there and did his job."

Johnson showed Houston might be able to start counting on its bench for help come tournament time.

Said Foster of Johnson's performance: "That's not going to turn him into King Kong. There's some maturing he has to do. He's got to get to a higher level physically. He's going to make a very good player."

Houston, which missed 11-of-33 free-throws, allowing the Cardinals to take away a 45-28 halftime lead, had its offense on-target at the right times.

Houston shot a torrid 75 percent from the field in the first half (18-of-24), including 77.7 percent (7-of-9) from three-point land. Diaz connected on all four of his three-point attempts in the first half, but went 0-for-4 in the second.

The Cougars shot 61.7 percent from the floor for the game, their highest output of the season.

"We played exceptionally well on both sides of the floor in the first half," Foster said. "I told the players, 'Don't watch the clock. Don't worry about whether you're going to win or lose. Go out and play.' "

For Louisville, Morton led the Cardinals with 24 points. Clifford Rozier and Minor added 20 and 15 respectively.

 

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LADY COOGS SING BLUES AFTER LOSING TO PONIES

by Heather Ellis

Daily Cougar Staff

Second verse, same as the first.

The Lady Cougars lost 73-63 to the Southern Methodist Lady Mustangs, 73-63, Saturday at Hofheinz Pavilion, dropping their fourth consecutive game.

Despite strong performances from Chanda Finch and Andi Jackson, the Cougars fell prey to poor free-throw shooting at crucial times.

"There is no question we lost the ball game on the free-throw line," coach Jessie Kenlaw said. "That killed us. We had problems with our free-throws and on transition defense."

The Cougars are in sixth place in the Southwest Conference, 4-7, and 10-13 overall. The Mustangs improved their record to 6-5 in the SWC and 13-6 overall. They are also tied with Baylor for fourth place in the SWC.

The Mustangs took their first ever Hofheinz win back to SMU as the Cougars split their games with the Mustangs after beating them earlier in the season.

The first half was sluggish for the the Cougars, who only scored six points in the first 10 minutes. At halftime, the Cougars were down by six points, 31-25.

The Cougars came battling out in the second half, but the Mustangs had all of their shooting arms aimed and ready.

Shanell Thomas led the Mustangs with 24 points, followed in scoring by Missy Parker, who had 15, six of which from the free- throw line.

With 6:30 left in the second half, the Cougars started a run led by Finch and Jackson, who dished a pass to Finch that led to a layup and two points to draw the Cougars within one, 52-53.

However, missed shots from the line led to the Cougars' demise, shooting 5-of-18 from the charity stripe, only 27.8 percent.

Junior Chanda Finch came off the bench to add a season-high 14 points to lead the Cougars. Andi Jackson had 13 for the night.

"Chanda was a big spark for us tonight," Kenlaw said. "She got things going for us when we needed it."

The Cougars have adopted a down-but-not-out attitude for the rest of their season.

"The girls have not given up," coach Kenlaw said. "We have to dig down deep and finish strong. We need to play to win."

 

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DIAPER DANDY JOHNSON COMES THROUGH IN CLUTCH

by Jason Ramirez

Daily Cougar Staff

When the Cougars needed a win over No. 22 Louisville on Sunday, it was left up to Jermaine Johnson to lead the way.

With 7:10 left to go in the game, and Charles Outlaw having just fouled out, the freshman center came off the bench to make some big plays and help Houston beat the Cardinals 89-81 at Hofheinz Pavilion.

"When Bo Outlaw fouled out," Johnson said, "all that was going through my mind was how I really needed to step up, since losing him was a big loss for us."

Johnson gladly contributed with six points, four rebounds and a key block on Louisville's Greg Minor with 51 seconds left to play and the Cougars up 85-77.

"After I made some of those key plays," Johnson said, "my teammates just told me to play even harder and keep up with what I was doing."

Asked about having been a big part in such a big game, Johnson replied, "It was definitely the highest point of my entire career."

"He just came in at the right place at the right time," David Diaz said of Johnson. "We had a lot of confidence in him because he had been playing real hard in practice all week."

"People underestimate him," Outlaw said. "When I fouled out, I think that Louisville might have gotten a little cocky and said, 'There goes Outlaw; we're going to win now.' But what they didn't know was that he is a big guy, and he is not afraid of anybody."

Having Johnson make the big plays when they were needed could not have come at a better time in the game than when the Cardinals were on the verge of taking control and erasing a 17-point Cougar lead.

"He came in at a time when the team wasn't playing well," Diaz said. "But after he started to make the plays, the rest of us were able to step it up and rally around him."

"To be quite honest," said coach Pat Foster, "I didn't think he could play that well since we didn't play him at all during the first half. But when I noticed that he was getting the job done, it didn't surprise me."

It was just the Cardinals who Johnson surprised.

 

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COUGAR CLIPS

UH WINS TOURNEY

The Houston Cougars defeated the University of Texas-Pan American Broncs, 8-1, at Jody Ramsey Stadium Sunday in Edinburgh, Texas, to win the Pan American baseball tournament.

Houston finished the tournament with a 4-0 record. The Cougars defeated Pan American three times and the Prairie View A&M Panthers once. Houston improves its overall record to 15-1.

Houston defeated Pan American 6-1 Saturday behind the stellar pitching of Jeff Wright, who pitched seven innings, giving up just three hits and one earned run.

The Cougars trounced Prairie View A&M, 13-3, Saturday. The 10-run rule was invoked after the fifth inning, as Houston erupted for 11 runs in the fifth, including left fielder Brian Blair's grand slam.

Pitcher Matt Beech threw seven strong innings Friday, striking out five and giving up one earned run as the Cougars defeated Pan American 3-1.

 

GOLFERS TAKE THIRD

Results from the 1993 Stephen F. Austin-Crown Colony Invitational played Friday and Saturday at the Crown Colony country club in Lufkin, Texas:

Final team results -- 54 holes:

1) Baylor -- 911 points.

2) Texas A&M -- 916.

3) HOUSTON -- 917.

Cougar individual results:

6) Anders Hansen -- 226.

12) Chris Borgen -- 229.

14) Dean Larsson -- 230.

25) Brad Montgomery -- 237.

40) Eric Lohman -- 240.

51) Eric Bogar -- 245.

 

 

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RAINFOREST LEAVES LASTING IMPRESSION

by Ericka Schiche

Daily Cougar Staff

In the midst of a dark misty forest sits a lion with a mane of thick orange hair.

A golden lion tamarind.

In a tree.

The creature is one of many species of animals and plants that exist in tropical rainforests throughout the world.

The tamarind, which bears a resemblance to the ferocious lions of Africa and has eyes like dark onyx beads, is one of the featured guests in Tropical Rainforest, a breathtaking IMAX film that is on view at the Museum of Natural Science.

Geoffrey Holder, the Trinidadian actor and voice behind the lobster in The Little Mermaid and the guiding force behind the musical The House of Flowers, is the convincing narrator of a documentary that takes the viewer into the rolling cottony clouds and, seemingly, within yards of water falls.

Holder takes the viewer on a guided tour of rainforests, where species of slithering pythons and an emerging blue butterfly exist.

Sometimes, the images captured by cinematographer Timothy Housel and director Ben Shedd are so powerful that no narration or accompanying music is needed. An example is the humorous sequence filmed while hordes of ants carry pieces of leaves on the forest floor.

Housel effectively captures the destruction of the rainforest by giving the viewer a close-up look at the cutting of a tree. When the trees fall violently, making a sound that has the intensity of thunder, the tragedy of vanishing rainforests is explained.

"Four minutes and a chainsaw brings it down," says Holder. "The giants of the forest have been felled, together with the life that they sustain. Species which no human has ever seen are driven to extinction everyday. If the clearing of the trees continues, fifty years could see these forests gone, and with them the variety and range of biological diversities."

Like the depletion of the ozone layer, the destruction of rainforests, especially in South America, has become the cause celebre of concerned environmentalists.

The film is intriguing from the moment ferns are placed before the lens of the camera and magnified to fill a six-story tall silver screen to the time when the tamarinds are shown sitting in a tree.

The weaknesses of the film are minor. The Cable News Network footage used during the destruction scenes footage seems misplaced. The choice of American pop music played during the closing credits, when contrasted with the more authentic sounds of rolling drums, seems to spoil the ending of the film. Nevertheless, the abuse of the rainforest is effectively presented during the film.

Overall, however, Tropical Rainforest makes a good case for the preservation of rainforests and the appreciation of the beautiful species that live in the habitat.

 

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