STATE SENATOR VOWS TO FIGHT FOR UH FUNDS

 

by Tanya Eiserer

Daily Cougar Staff

In a recent visit to UH, state Sen. Mario Gallegos, D-Houston, promised to fight against legislative attempts to make substantial cuts in the university's budget, setting the stage for a possible funding war.

"UH can attract good students, but the university cannot do it with a substantial budget cut," Gallegos said.

The next legislative biennium begins in January, when state legislators will determine all state agencies' funding levels for the next two years.

Gallegos, who was recently elected to the Texas Senate, said the university remains in the dangerous position of losing millions in state-appropriated dollars.

"UH is going to have a tough time this session, but other universities are also going to be earmarked for cuts also," he said. "The alumni for UH need to be more visible in contacting people in positions of power."

Gallegos added that UH's main problem, besides declining enrollments, remains in the way the state funds universities. Formula-funding is based on the total number of credit hours taken by the student body.

Many UH students work full-time and attend school part-time, causing them to take longer to graduate. "The Legislature is going to have to seek another formula or give UH some kind of relief," he added.

Last session, Gallegos served on the House Appropriations Committee at a time when UH was faced with a $30 million cut, which after a long, tough battle was cut to $8.4 million.

"We (UH supporters) were able on appropriations to make a case that they had failed to look at the number of Hispanics in Harris County," Gallegos said. At that time, South Texas universities were pushing for higher funding due to the high concentration of Hispanics, so Houston-area representatives argued that this area has the highest concentration in the state.

During his visit, he also called on university leaders to make a larger commitment to recruiting minority students, including the creation of outreach centers in ethnic areas.

Chancellor Alexander Schilt and President James H. Pickering in previous statements have said the university's legislative strategy centers around the institution's ability to reach out to urban areas.

"It's(minority recruitment) getting better, but it can't get any worse. There is definitely need for improvement," Gallegos said. He pointed to the success of the Tenneco program at Jeff Davis High School as an example of a recruitment program that works.

"The success of that program is mind-boggling. Before the program, only 20 students were going on to college; now almost 200 kids are going to college mostly at UH-Downtown," he said. "It is incumbent upon the university to go out and seek those minority students that would like to go to college."

 

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CARNEGIE FOUNDATION UPGRADES UH

by Marlene Yarborough

Daily Cougar Staff

UH's classification was upgraded from Doctoral University I to Research University II by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.

Research University II institutions offer a full range of programs on the doctoral level, award 50 or more doctoral degrees annually and receive between $15.5 million and $40 million in federal funding.

Under Doctoral University I, UH's previous category, 40 doctorates were granted per year, and there was no minimal federal-support requirement.

The classification upgrade was based on statistics through 1993, said Susan Rosthal from the UH Office of Media Relations.

Thomas Jones, associate vice president for research, said, "It is a goal of UH to become an urban teaching and research institution. The upgrade is one step toward being one part in the 100 institutions included in the top."

"To attain Research University I status (the top category), UH must increase its level of federal funding by 50 percent from $27.8 million," said UH President James H. Pickering.

Jones said it is important for undergraduates to want to be a part of a research university.

"We stress research because the faculty are the most up-to-date, and graduates are more marketable and their degrees more valuable," Jones said. "Because the students know more new technology, they will be able to teach the people around them. This makes a UH graduate a more valuable employee."

Carnegie Foundation President Ernest L. Boyer said, "This system does not rate schools by quality, but it looks mainly at the complexity of their programs."

The Carnegie Foundation reports group educational institutions into 11 classes based on academic missions. The highest level of degree offered and the number awarded by discipline are the factors considered.

Rosthal added, "Universities use this classification to compare themselves to one another."

U.S. News & World Report magazine uses the Carnegie Foundation's grouping to rank American colleges and universities. U.S. News puts institutions into four categories based on their Carnegie classifications: national universities, regional universities, national liberal arts colleges and regional colleges.

U.S. News' college ranking is considered an influential report because of its large circulation. UH ranked 173rd in this year's report, placing in the lowest tier. This came before the classification upgrade.

 

 

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NETTERS BEAT UT – AGAIN

by Daniel Scholl

Daily Cougar Staff

The fireworks were exploding on and off the court Saturday as the Cougar volleyball team defeated the Lady Longhorns for the second time this year, 3-1, in front of a crowd of 1,523 at Hofheinz Pavilion. It is the first time Texas has ever been swept by a Southwest Conference opponent.

Earlier this season, on Sept. 28, the Cougars (13-3 overall, 7-0 in the SWC) defeated the Longhorns (15-6, 4-2) 3-0 in Austin's Recreational Sports Center. The Longhorns have never not been SWC champions.

Now the Cougars are in the driver's seat, as they lead the SWC, have a 10-match winning streak and have only three conference matches left.

"It's a great accomplishment," senior hitter Lilly Denoon-Chester said of the win. "For the last three years, we have never been able to do it (beat Texas) mentally."

Denoon-Chester led the Cougars in kills and digs with 18 in each category. Seven of her kills came in the first game, which was the only one the Cougars lost.

Texas started the game by jumping out to a 2-0 lead. It was the biggest lead they would have during the entire game, which they won 15-13. The Cougars took a 10-6 six lead, but could not hold the Longhorns off. The Cougars did not look back after that first game.

They won the next three games 15-8, 15-8 and 15-5.

In game two, the Longhorns led early once again, taking a 4-1 lead when the Cougars called time out. They then went on to score nine unanswered points.

During this run, the Horns lost middle blocker Jane Winkel for the game to an ankle injury. The Longhorns have been plagued with injuries all year.

"We got eight people sitting on the bench, and now it's nine (with the injury to Winkel)," Texas head coach Mick Haley said. "We played our butts off. I'm happy with the way our kids fought."

He was not happy with the way the game was officiated, however, and this led to two separate confrontations between Haley and Houston head coach Bill Walton.

"He was yelling at the line judges and wanted me to yell at them too," Walton said. "I told him I'm not going to embarrass myself."

Walton added that he couldn't blame Haley for trying to motivate his team.

"(Texas has) lost all three middle blockers. It's a shame, and I feel sorry for them," Walton said. "Not that I'm belittling our team. Our kids played good."

The Cougars also played well Sunday as they extended their win-streak to 11, defeating Arkansas State 3-1 (15-9, 15-5, 12-15 and 15-4). Denoon-Chester recorded 30 kills, seven shy of breaking her own record, to give her 1,243 for her career. She broke Julie Gates' record of 1,225.

 

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FROGS HOP ALL OVER FOOTBALL TEAM IN 31-10 LOSS

by Jason Paul Ramírez

Daily Cougar Staff

The Houston Cougar football team is right back where it was just two weeks ago – on Earth.

After a week of the Cougars flying high with the possibility of making the Southwest Conference race interesting, the Texas Christian Horned Frogs all but shot that down with a convincing 31-10 victory Saturday night before 14,933 in the Astrodome.

Saturday's defeat came from another lackluster effort from the Cougar offense as it suffered through some costly penalties and turnovers that killed several key drives.

"The big penalties in the game really kept us from being able to get anything going offensively," Houston head coach Kim Helton said. "We had situations where we went from converting a third down into a first, but having it moved back because of a penalty."

One of those situations came in the first quarter.

After TCU (4-3 overall, 1-2 in the SWC) place-kicker Michael Reeder was wide left on a 47-yard field goal attempt during the game's opening drive, the Cougars (1-6, 1-2) marched down the field to the Frogs' two-yard line behind starting quarterback Clay Helton's 4-for-4 passing drive.

With Houston in position to take an early 7-0 lead, running back Jermaine Williams fumbled the hand-off on a third-and-goal play, and TCU recovered the ball at the four.

"We shouldn't have played Jermaine," Helton said, referring to Williams nursing some bruised ribs in practice all week. "It was a bad mistake on my part. Not only did he drop the football, but he also ran the wrong play."

From their own four, the Horned Frogs proceeded to march down the field and take the 7-0 lead behind a six-yard scamper by running back Andre Davis, who ran for 150 yards on the night.

Another situation occurred with TCU holding a 24-10 lead with just more than 12 minutes left to play. The Cougars were driving for a score at the Frogs' 32-yard-line. Facing a third-and-four situation, freshman running back Jay McGuire ran for six yards, but Houston was flagged for a 10-yard holding penalty, bringing up a third-and-long.

On the very next play, the Cougars were again called for a penalty, this time an illegal-procedure call that pushed the ball back five more yards.

As Houston lined up on third-and-19, McGuire fumbled a screen from quarterback Chad O'Shea, once again killing the rally.

"We had our chances," McGuire said, who still rushed for 77 yards on just nine carries. "We didn't get the job done. It just didn't happen. The turnovers really hurt our momentum."

As for Clay Helton, the senior signal-caller never fully recovered from his impressive first drive as he was lifted in favor of O'Shea, who once again ignited a spark.

O'Shea threw a 49-yard touchdown pass just into the fourth quarter as junior receiver Larkay James hauled in the first scoring toss of his career. O'Shea finished with 13-of-21 for 171 yards and one score.

 

 

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GET RANGER RICK, BOOBOO – IT'S <I>YELLOWSTONE<P>

 

by Stephen Stelmak

Daily Cougar Staff

<I>Yellowstone<P>'s opening scenes are magnificent. Even if you've been to Yellowstone Park, the aerial landscapes of the Grand Tetons and the Snake River will consistently take your breath away, and the opening panoramic scene over the snow-covered treetops at twilight starts out great.

Then the problems begin. To tell about the native people of Yellowstone, the Tukudikas tribe, director Keith Merrill chooses to concentrate on a small girl in the tribe who follows a baby grizzly bear into its den.

The mother grizzly is in the den and rears up on its back feet, doing nothing to the girl, whose father comes and rescues her. I disliked this scene not due to the fact that I have serious misgivings about showing that if a child follows a grizzly bear into its den, nothing bad will happen, but because the entire episode was so cheesy, I wish I had some crackers to go with it.

The film is only 30 minutes long, and too much time is taken up on re-enactment. The long scenes about the original explorers were, on the whole, boring. Interesting moments of the park's more recent history are left out; for example, Yellowstone's recent fire and regrowth were totally ignored.

Though the grizzly bear appeared many times in the film, there was nothing in the film mentioning the past trouble of visitors feeding the bears or any mention of programs that deal with the bears and other animals begging for food. In a vain attempt to liven up one of the scenes, the director once again brings in the ever-so-amusing bear.

Coming into the explorers' camp and causing general havoc, that kooky bear is once again cheesy and irritating. The entire scene could have been cut with the exception of the point where they decide to make Yellowstone the first national park. The movie's best re-enactments were bearable and at times mildly entertaining. Less time should have been spent on re-enactment. Unfortunately, it is not.

Yellowstone's history is not interesting, but the scenery and animals are. The aerial shots on the Teton mountains and the Snake River almost make <I>Yellowstone<P> worth the time and money.

The animals, aside from the bear, are entertaining and shown in a way that most visitors are unable to see. If you have not been to Yellowstone, the dramatic pictures give you an idea of Yellowstone's beauty.

Perhaps <I>Yellowstone<P>'s most interesting feature is its geysers. Sitting over a semi-volcanic area, the park has landscapes found no place else in the world. One might expect the geyser shots to be the most powerful. The shots are magnificent, but the music interferes with the image.

Loud classical music blasting over IMAX's powerful sound system is fierce competition with the tremendous sounds produced when a geyser erupts. I found myself wishing they had just let the geysers speak for themselves, especially because the music was giving me a headache.

Overall, IMAX has produced many powerful and entertaining films. <I>Yellowstone<P> is not one of them. The shots of nature will make it worth your time, but not your money. Skip <I>Yellowstone <P>, but see the next IMAX.

 

 

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