PRESIDENT LAMENTS FUNDING

by Rivka Gewirtz

Daily Cougar Staff

While UH President James Pickering talked about the grim future of legislative funding for the university, he opened the door to the second phase of the reshaping process at Wednesday's State of the University address.

Phase two includes eight objectives to better serve the UH community.

He also said that while UH "gracefully waltzed through the eye of the storm" of legislative budget cuts, they are not out of danger in the next session.

"There are existing riders in the current legislative appropriation that may cost us in the next biennium up to 2 percent more of our state appropriations," said Pickering.

He added that legislative formula funding, a method in which the state decides how much institutions receive in appropriations, may look bad for UH in the next biennium.

"Once again, the institution that seems to be singled out most for a change in those formulas is guess where: the University of Houston," said Pickering.

"The state has moved away from its goal of making faculty salaries in Texas beat the average of the ten most popular states. Now we are simply trying to meet the national average," he said

Pickering said that the savings of $2 million in administration funds, that was a result of the first stage of reshaping, helped cushion the legislative cuts. The money came from more than 100 administrative positions that were eliminated.

The eight goals of the second stage of reshaping are focused on serving the greater Houston and academic community in the best way possible. The first of the two goals deal with serving UH faculty more effectively. One objective is to provide a better "reward system" for faculty work. The other is to provide seed money for faculty research and special projects. Pickering said faculty should not feel like "the short-end of the stick" in a university.

Three of the goals focus on managing university funds in a way that will save money in the face of budget cuts.

A new academic funding model will be examined as well as a look at saving in administrative costs. Another goal is to further build partnerships with community businesses and programs in an attempt to gain revenue and make better opportunities for UH to serve community members.

Pickering said he will hold discussions with all 14 colleges in an attempt to figure out how each school will teach the same amount of credit hours with $1.2 million less funding.

Another objective is to provide better university services to students. Pickering says he wants to make UH more "user friendly." Finally, one of the most discussed objectives is minority recruitment for students and faculty. Pickering said UH should reflect the cultural diversity of it's city.

The final reshaping document, including specific plans will be released this afternoon.

 

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NEW GRANT COULD SHAPE FUTURE OF TEACHING

by Vicky Tickell

News Reporter

The UH College of Education will share a $1.4 million grant from the Texas Education Agency to improve teacher education in area universities.

The University of St. Thomas, Houston Baptist University and Texas Southern University are the other institutions whose education departments will receive the other three-fourths of the grant.

"In early 1991 the TEA opened up competition for funding," said Kip Tellez, a coordinator in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction at UH.

"The department submitted a proposal, but we didn't win the grant until this year," Tellez said.

Assistant Dean of the UH College of Education Judith Walker de Felix said, "In 1991 the TEA determined that UH fell within a region that did not demonstrate the highest need for funding, so Texas A&M and Prairie View A&M got the grant."

UH's winning proposal titled PUMA (Pedagogy for Urban and Multicultural Action) outlined a different approach to teacher education that would place student-teachers in a hands-on, school-based education program.

Walker de Felix said she hopes to implement the PUMA program in place of the current teacher education program, RITE, or Reflective Inquiry Teacher Education.

"Right now, people think there's too much classroom theory and not enough actual field work being done in teacher education. PUMA would blur the distinction between theory and practice," Tellez said.

PUMA would employ a "portfolio" approach, one in which student teachers will be able to save and evaluate the principles and theories they apply in an actual classroom setting, said Tellez.

"It will be sort of like a 'teacher-ed' summer camp," Tellez said.

PUMA's emphasis on technology in teacher education was another decisive factor in UH receiving the grant, Tellez said. At least one-half of the grant is being dedicated to implementing technological approaches in teacher education.

Ten Macintosh Powerbook computers have been purchased by the department. The student-teachers will use these throughout their involvement in PUMA, Tellez said.

"Teacher education students may have the opportunity to rent computers from Apple for $15 a month," Walker de Felix said.

"We not only have to work harder, we have to work smarter. Technology in education must come in three ways: instructional, managerial and communicative," Tellez said.

An electronic mail system is being considered for participants in the program so communication between teachers and students can be improved. Tellez and Walker de Felix both said the program would be more sympathetic to part-time students.

Tellez said there has been "a lot of negativity aimed at education and our current program. Many students felt that we were answering questions they weren't asking. We would give a lot of theory in the classroom, but they wanted to know application questions."

PUMA differs from RITE in its "cooperative learning" approach, Tellez said. "PUMA wants to borrow more of a teaching hospital approach, he said.

This school-based approach would give student-teachers the opportunity to do their student teaching on a particular campus, and at the same time have the benefit of sharing their experiences with other student-teachers, Tellez said.

 

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LIFE AFTER LENIN

Prof reveals once hidden side of Russia

by Ivana Segvic

Daily Cougar Staff

While many of us may have thought the Iron Curtain had lost its mettle, one scholar kept a critical eye focused on developments in the land of the hammer and sickle.

Meet political science Professor Joseph Nogee, a Russian and Eastern European government and history specialist, has been teaching at UH since 1958.

Some view Russian President Boris Yeltsin's move to abolish the parliament as the opening salvo in the debate over the re-adoption of communism or simply as Yeltsin's first move toward a dictatorship. Questions such as "Why the clampdown on the media?" and "If Yeltsin is so sure of himself, then why not hold elections now?" are the topics of discussion around many Russian dinner tables.

Nogee digs still deeper.

"I've always been interested in foreign policy and international relations. When I was a graduate student, of course the dominant factor in foreign policy was the Cold War. If you wanted to study international relationships you had to study the Cold War," said the Yale graduate.

Some say the Russians, like people of other Eastern European countries, have been spoiled by the system. They are not used to working, and for them the money is like food for the dragon. But what happens when the food runs out? Will the dragon turn around and bite the hand feeding it?

"I think the most important thing to realize is that the country has been, and is, going through a revolution and it will continue to change. It is going to be several years before we see the change. It has 1,000 years of history. Almost all of that history has been characterized by authoritarian government, frequent violence and eternal disorder. The country has never known an extended period of peace and stability," he said.

As for the muzzle on the media, Nogee said the parliament has been isolated but the nation's media is free.

Nogee said he believes the United States supports Yeltsin with good reason. "He is the only political leader (in Russia) who has subjected himself to a popular vote. No other leaders were selected by the people. Another reason is that he has transformed himself and has repudiated the whole idea of communism. He has rejected it and criticized it," he said.

Nogee also notes Yeltsin doesn't want to hold the presidential election until June because Yeltsin believes it would be better to hold the election after parliament has already been selected.

As for the possibility of bloodshed, Nogee said, "I don't think it will happen. There is a reluctance to result to force."

The military has been affected financially by the dismantling of communism. There is concern that the army could turn its back on Yeltsin. Nogee said he doubts this will occur. "The military understands the public is behind Yeltsin. Recently, steps have been taken to increase pay and improve living conditions for the military," he said.

"The aid is being given conditionally. They have to bring their own budget deficit under control, stop printing money and bring down inflation. Of course there are certain risks that some aid will be lost. But the Russians do need assistance," Nogee said, referring to possible misuse of financial aid.

As the week's events draw to a dramatic close, Nogee will be watching and analyzing Yeltsin's battle to break the nerve of hard-liners holing up in parliament.

 

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CENSORS, WRITERS FIND NO MIDDLE GROUND

by shane patrick boyle

Daily Cougar Staff

All across the nation this week organizations like the Writers And Artists Group At UH are calling attention to censorship as they observe Banned Book Week.

The National Library Association prints a list of books that have been or are currently banned. The current list includes hundreds of books, about 100 of which were challenged or banned in the past year.

Among the books are: <I>Fahrenheit 451<P> by Ray Bradbury, a book about censorship that was given to students at a California middle school with "hells" and "damns" marked out; <I>Hansel and Gretel<P> by the Brothers Grimm, challenged for its negative portrayal of witches; and <I>The Bible<P> challenged by an atheist in Minnesota "to turn the tables on the religious right."

Several of these books and others that have been banned were available for viewing, but not for sale, at WAAGAUH's information table Wednesday at the Satellite, and will be on view again today at the University Center.

Controversial literature on display includes <I>The Lorax<P> by Dr. Seuss, denounced by logging communities for its environmental message; and books by Shel Silverstein, under fire for allegedly encouraging kids to break dishes to get out of washing them and to use threats of suicide to manipulate parents.

"Censorship not only hurts the creative community by hindering our outlets; it hurts everyone by limiting access to knowledge and encouraging ignorance," said Jessica Martin, president of WAAGAUH.

Not everybody, however, agrees that all restrictions of art and literature is bad.

"You can call it censorship or anything you want to," said Geneva Kirk Brooks, founder and president of Citizens Against Pornography. She spear-headed the local and international campaigns against Madonna's book, <I>Sex<P>, and is currently leading a protest against a television show called <I>NYPD Blues<P>, which she said portrays cops in a negative light.

"But censorship is simply trying to protect one segment of the population from another," she said, citing serial killer Ted Bundy's account of being led by pornography to murder women.

"Some of the worst pornography I've seen has been in junior high school libraries," Brooks said.

She mentioned <I>Show Me!<P> by Will McBride and Helga Fleischhauer-Hardt as an example. According to NLA, the book has been banned more than 10 times since 1975 for allegedly condoning child pornography, pedophilia, incest, sex between young people and masturbation. In four cases, the publisher was prosecuted on obscenity charges. In each case, the judges ruled that it was not obscene.

Brooks also said she was concerned about "secular humanism" in public schools. She said secular humanism is a philosophy that rejects religion and the notion of absolutes.

Because of secular humanism "It is more dangerous to be on campus today than to be a soldier in the army," Brooks said.

On the subject of censorship on the college level Brooks said "Parents don't work hard, so they can send their kids to college to get aroused."

She said, "No one is improved, culturally or otherwise, with a lot of vulgar words." Banned Book Week is an annual education effort sponsored by the National Library Association, the Society of Professional Journalists and the American Booksellers Association.

 

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NATIONAL COLLEGE SERVICE PLAN PASSES CONGRESS

by Robert L. Arnold

Daily Cougar Staff

After months of anticipation by college students, a version of President Bill Clinton's National and Community Service Trust Act was approved by the Senate and the House after enduring several cutbacks.

Clinton's goal with this new plan is to promote national service with young people in exchange for federal help with college tuition.

Under this act, students will be able to work for different community organizations nationwide and earn up to $4,725 annually to pay for college or to pay off existing loans.

In addition to the money earned towards paying for tuition and loans, participants will also receive a living stipend in the form of minimum wage. The government is putting up 85 percent of this money while the individual organizations will front the other 15 percent.

After enduring several budgetary cuts, Clinton's bill passed the House in late August by a vote of 275-152. The Senate did not approve the bill until Sept. 8 by a vote of 57-40.

Clinton's original plan was to have a five-year approval and a total of $7.4 billion in funding to institute his program.

Congress cut this proposal to a three-year approval and a total of $1.5 billion in funding.

Another cut by Congress came in the form of the number of available spots for the program.

Clinton originally estimated a total of 25,000 openings in fiscal year 1994 and 100,000 spots in fiscal year 1997.

The approved bill only allows for 20,000 positions in fiscal year 1994, 33,000 in fiscal year 1995 and 47,000 in fiscal year 1996.

These available positions are not only open to the 14.4 million U.S. college students, but also to alumni and high school seniors.

Despite these cutbacks, Clinton's staff feels confident this program will prove itself and be given a longer term of approval and more funding.

"The heart and soul of the program is still there. I feel three years will be plenty of time for the bill to prove its effectiveness by the time it comes up for re-approval," said Ethan Zindler, assistant director of press relations for the Office of National Service.

The president, at a White House ceremony on Sept. 21, said he hoped this plan would instill a lasting tradition of service in America's youth.

To exemplify the situation, Clinton signed the bill with the same pen former president Franklin Roosevelt used to create the Civilian Conservation Corps, a program designed to help rebuild the country during the Depression.

Congress is estimating that this bill will only reach a fraction of the 5 million U.S. college students currently receiving financial aid.

At this time, UH has not made any plans to involve themselves with implementation of this bill.

"We have no plans as of yet to become involved with this program, and it is too soon to tell if we (UH) will become involved," said Consuelo Trevino, director of Campus Activities.

 

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PERFORMANCE SHOWS DIVERSITY

by Manuel Esparza

Daily Cougar Staff

It didn't have a plot per se, but did it ever tell a tale.

The images created by the detailed melodies were narrated through the infinitely complex and more descriptive language of the dancer. Dubbed <I>An Evening With Tchaikovsky And Balanchine<P>, the Houston Ballet performed three separate pieces, each with its own leitmotiv.

Although Balanchine and Tchaikovsky never met (Tchaikovsky died a few years before Balanchine's birth), their work is considered by many to be the most classical of classics.

Tchaikovsky's command of melody and rythum, evident from the variety of musical styles in which he wrote, is less mechanical mastery, rather, it is more godlike in its creation. Balanchine worked with nearly all of the prima ballerinas of his time. His style concentrates more on emotional themes than conventional storytelling.

If there is an unsung hero here, it would be the Houston Ballet Orchestra, conducted by Ermanno Florio. Florio has a great appreciation for the majesty of Tchaikovsky's music. In a very strict interpretation, he brought out the full power of the evocative symphonies. More luscious than sinking into a bearskin rug, the symphony also gave<I>Serenade<P> a rich, fine-grained texture.

I>Serenade<P> has been in the Houston Ballet's repertoire for awhile, but it is always performed with fresh energy. Opening with a surfeit of ballerinas in traditional costume, it becomes a synchronized field of grain swaying in the breeze. Lauren Anderson, possibly the most precise dancer in the troupe, cut an excellent solo filled with very crisp moves. The company shone brilliantly in this visual representation of Tchaikovsky's music.

One man's scrap is another man's treasure. In the <I>Tchaikovsky Pas De Deux<P> , deleted from <I>Swan Lake<P>, Martha Butler and Mark Arvin gave strong performances. This piece, designed to show off the dancers virtuosity, was as striking in its power as it was in romance. Carving beautiful lines on their passes, the couple excelled during the solos; she with quick point work, he with great leaps.

Once more bringing the music to life, the company ended the evening with <I>Themes And Variations<P>. The formations of dancers were a strong counterpoint to the exciting solos. Because <I>Themes<P> evokes a lighter mood than <I>Serenade<P>, the dancers were able to maintain high energy levels throughout the performance.

This trio of works presents the best synthesis of music and choreography, and will amaze aficionados of ballet and entrall mere mortals.

Showtimes at the Wortham Center are tonight and Friday night at 7:30 p.m. with a matinee on Sunday at 2:00 p.m. Tickets can be purchased in advance or at half price one hour before the show with a valid student ID.

 

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TEXAS LONGHORNS MAINTAIN THEIR DOMINANCE, UPEND HOUSTON 3-1

by Heather Ellis

Daily Cougar Staff

If the the Houston Cougar volleyball team had beaten the Texas Longhorns Wednesday night in Hofheinz Pavilion, it would have turned the Southwest Conference upside down.

Instead, the Cougars took one win away from the No. 3 Longhorns and fell in three consecutive games 5-15, 6-15 and 14-16. They won the first game 15-11.

In what seemed to be a replay from the Longhorns 1992 appearance in Hofheinz, both teams had something to gain from winning.

"If Houston had beaten us tonight the whole SWC would be into mass chaos," Longhorn coach Mick Hayley said. "Houston is a team that can pose serious threats to the conference and us as well. Particularly here in Hofheinz."

Houston coach Bill Walton agreed.

"Imagine if we had beaten the No. 3 team in the country tonight and yet, we couldn't beat Baylor last week," Walton said. "What would that have said for us and the conference?"

The Cougars now sit at 0-2 in the SWC and 3-11 overall. The Longhorns have a 2-0 record in the SWC and 10-1 overall record.

The biggest problem for the Cougars was and is their ability to close out tight games.

In game four, the Cougars ran off eight straight points with the Longhorns scoring only once.

Instead of being able to capitalize on their seven point lead, blocking errors and consecutive sideouts allowed the Longhorns to climb back in and tie 9-9.

The two teams volleyed back and forth trading points until the Cougars were up 14 -13.

The Longhorns responded with a sideout to tie it at 14. The Cougars were not able to put the Longhorns away and Texas went on to win 16-14.

In spite of his team's win, coach Hayley was disappointed with the Longhorns performance.

"I knew that Houston would be fired up to play tonight, especially after last year's ending," he said. "But we didn't do a real good job on our attack velocity and we seemed to be slow on the floor."

Houston soundly took the first game away from the Longhorns. Texas never offensively had the ball for more than three times and Houston's Lilly Denoon was killing the ball every chance she got. Denoon had 18 kills for the night and a .220 hitting percentage.

Texas bounced back the second game and easily won the match with strong defensive tactics.

Cougar hitter Carla Maul had only one service ace on the night but was able to find and serve to Texas' soft spots.

"Carla served tough to the areas that they have a hard time passing to," Walton said. "She did a nice job. We would have liked to put her in game four, but we can only have three substitutions per match so she had to sit out."

After jumping out to an early three point lead, the Longhorns took control of the third game and won. Flashes from the past revisited Denoon while she was on the court.

"Ever since I was in high school I have played Katy Jameyson," Denoon said. "We played against each other in district competition. I always want to beat her."

 

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